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Calpe and Abyla . 

• • • . 

First Inhabitants of the Rock 

Under the Carthaginians . 

In Roman hands .... 

In Visigothic hands .... 

The Visigothic Kings 

Differing Histories of the Invasion 

Legends of King Roderic 

Sketch of the History of the Conquest 

The Fortress. Cadiz 

MuzA Ibn Nosseyr 

• • • • 

The Splendour of Andalus . 

Early state of Gibraltar . 

The First Engineer of Gibraltar 

Transitions .... 

• • • • 

The First Siege .... 
Relations of the Nasserite Dynasty with 

Gibraltar. The Second Siege . 
Gibraltar offered as a Ransom 
The Third Siege, 1333 
The Fourth Siege, 1334.. 
The Siege of Tarifa .... 






































The Siege of Algeciras, 1342-4. The 

Fifth Siege of Gibraltar 
The King of Gibraltar. The Sixth and 

Seventh Sieges . 

• • • • 

The Eighth Siege, 1462 . . . . 
Termination of the Arabian Realm of Spain 

The Ninth Siege, 1466 

History of Gibraltar under Ferdinand and 

Isabella. The Tenth Siege . 
The Attack by the Corsairs, 1540 
The Last Moorish Hopes. Dutch Victory 

IN the Port 

Oliver the Protector's Estimate of the 


• • • • • * . 

War of the Succession — Capture of 

Gibraltar by the English 
The Twelfth Siege 

• • • • 

The Thirteenth Siege 

• • • • 

Further Negotiations 

• • • • • 

The Fourteenth Siege— The Gri \t Siege, 




I 82 





* > 



The Rock, from Fort San Felipe . 

. Frontispiece 

Birds-eye View of Gibraltar, the Bay and Coast 
of Spain 

In the distance on the left is to be seen the little village of ^' San 
Roque,'" and on the right the Hills and Village known as 
the " Queen of Spain's Chair.''' The ruins of the Old 
Moorish Castle are shown in the right foreground. 

Panorama of Gibraltar from the Head of the 
, Old Mole 

Page 128 



The Neutral Ground, from the Rock . . ,, 264 

The details may he readily made out by reference to Map. 

Map of Gibraltar 

. . Page I 

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jE propose to recite the history of Gibraltar., 
describe the sieges it has undergone, and, in 
doing so, to take the famous Rock itself as a 
centre round which may be ranged the figures 
of the chieftains who have been concerned in its attack and 
defence ; also to travel with these champions into their own 
countries, and trace the sources of their actions. It will be by 
no means desirable to omit the second section of our purpose, 
and leave the champions to themselves before or after they 
have quitted the place of battle, because it is undoubtedly 
true that if Gibraltar has conferred fame upon them, they, in 
turn, have, by deeds done elsewhere, reflected light upon the 
noble Rock itself. As to this eiFect of glory sent back from 
rock to warrior and from warrior unto rock, the matter has 
an image in the place itself, as, ages ago, when the first 
Phoenician voyagers were creeping out of the resplendent 
Mediterranean, or Great Sea, so they called it, into the Mare 
Tenehrosum, or '^ Dark Sea," which their imaginations filled 

t^ B 


with shadows, they, as the sun went down, saw his glory 
shine backwards from the pillar of ancient fame. In like 
manner, craft, drifting through those Straits, which have taken 
many names from that mount which we call Gibraltar, still see 
dawn shine from its sides long before the sea mists are broken 
up. Thus, Al-makkari, the Arabian writer, says : " The water 
surrounds Gibraltar on almost every side, so as to make it 
look like a watch-tower erected in the midst of the sea, and 
facing Algeciras." "The mountain of Taric " (Gibraltar), 
says a Granadian poet, quoted by him, " is like a beacon 
spreading its rays over the sea, and rising far above the neigh- 
bouring mountains. One might fancy that its face almost 
reaches the sky, and that its eyes arc watching the stars in the 
celestial track." ^' I sailed once," says another Moorish 
writer, *■' with my father, from Ceuta to Gibraltar, and had an 
opportunity of verifying the truth of this assertion. When we 
came near the coast, my father told me to look in the direction 
of Gibraltar; I did so, and saw the whole mountain shining 
as if it were on hrc." Thus it was a beacon to manv a 
store-ship or swift-running craft croinir to the relief of the tiarri- 
sons which were beleaguered there. l'hu> the Aloors described 
it when the Spaniards besieged it ; thus the Spaniards said, in 
turn ; and thus, with reversed reference to the last, the English 
sea-captains spoke, when they were " running in," as the 
term was, with stores from Britain or from Lisbon, on the one 
hand, and from Mahon on the other. 

The fame of the Great Siege, or last attack, with which the 
military history of Gibraltar for the present ceases, has so 
much outshone that of what was done and suffered before, that 
not a few readers will learn for the first time that this victory 
was the fourteenth of its order. By these Gibraltar is mostly 
made lustrous j but to English eyes, at least, its lustre should 

/ f 



be increased by recollections of many naval victories which 
have been obtained by Englishmen, and almost within sight 
of the Rock. Thus, there is the never-to-be-forgotten Tra- 
falgar, the greatest of these external combats. The fights off 
Cape St. Vincent are many. Thus, Sir George Rooke was 
beaten by Tourville, of France, in 1693 ; Rodney's victory 
over the Spaniards, under Langara, happened there in 1780 ; 
that of Sir John Jervis (Earl St. Vincent) took place seventeen 
years later ; and the capture of Don iMigueFs fleet was effected 
by Admiral Napier in 1833. We shall show that the Romans 
of old fought Carthaginian galleys in the bay, and that the 
very Northmen, when going to the Crusades early in the 
twelfth century, obtained naval victory in sight of the Rock 
of rocks. 

In 1607 was conducted, under the batteries of the Rock, 
which were then in Spanish hands, that naval combat which 
Sully describes as " the most furious battle which was ever 
fought in the memory of man." This happened between the 
Dutch Vice-Admiral, Jacob Hcemskerk, with ten or tv/elve 
vessels, and the Spanish Admiral, Don Juan Alvares d'Avila, 
with a force which was four times as strong as that of his 
enemy. \n spite of this disproportion the Hollander utterly 
ruined the Spaniard, ''and filled all Spain with horror." 
Heemskerk was as audacious as Blake at Santa Cruz, and as 
valiamly resolute as Nelson in the fight off the neighbouring 
Cape Trafalgar, which occurred almost two centuries after this 
glorious Dutch sailor scaled with his blood the freedom of his 
country, made Henri the Fourth of France rub his hands, and 
dashed the schemes of Spinola to pieces. Of this memorable 
combat, so important in its results, few Englishmen know 
anything. Probably not one in ten of the garrison of Gibraltar 
ever heard of it. )^^ and by we shall tell more about it. 


with shadows, they, as the sun went down, saw his glory 
shine backwards from the pillar of ancient flime. In like 
manner, craft, drifting through those Straits, which have taken 
many names from that mount which we call Gibraltar, still see 
dawn shine from its sides long before the sea mists are broken 
up. Thus, Al-makkari, the Arabian writer, says : " The water 
surrounds Gibraltar on almost every side, so as to make it 
look like a watch-tower erected in the midst of the sea, and 
facing Algcciras." '^ The mountain of Taric " (Ciibraltar), 
says a Granadian poet, quoted by him, '' i,> like a beacon 
spreading its rays over the sea, and rising far above the neigh- 
bouring mountains. One might fmcy that its face almost 
reaches the skv, and that its eves are watchin"- tlie stars in the 
celestial track." '' 1 sailed once," says another Moorish 
writer, '' with my father, from Ceuta to Gibraltar, and had an 
opportunity of verifying the truth of this assertion. When wc 
came near the coast, my father told me to look in the direction 
of Gibraltar; I did so, and saw the whole mountain shiniu"- 
iis if it were on fire." lluis it was a beacon to manv a 
store-ship or swift-runninij craft croini: to the relief of the izarri- 
sons which were beleaguered there. Thus the Moors described 
it when the Spaniards besieged it ; thus the Spaniards said, in 
turn ; and thus, with reversed reference to the last, the Knolish 
sea-captains spoke, when thev were " runninir in '' as the 
term was, with stores from Britain or from Lisbon, on the one 
hand, and from Mahon on the other. 

The fame of the Great Siege, or last attack, with which the 
military history of Gibraltar for the present ceases, has so 
much outshone that of what was ^oxm: and sutfered before, that 
not a few readers will learn for the first time that thi^ victory 
was the fourteenth of its order. W\ these Gibraltar is mostly 
made lustrous ^ but to English eyes, at least, its lustre should 




be increased by recollections of many naval victories which 
have been obtained by Englishmen, and almost within sight 
of the Rock. Thus, there is the never-to-be-forgotten Tra- 
falgar, the greatest of these external combats. The fights off 
Cape St. Vincent are many. Thus, Sir George Rooke was 
beaten by Tourville, of PVance, in 1693 ; Rodney's victory 
over the Spaniards, under Langara, happened there in 1780; 
that of Sir John Jervis (Earl St. Vincent) took place seventeen 
years later ; and the capture of Don Miguel's fleet was effected 
by Admiral Napier in 1833. ^^^' '^^AX show that the Romans 
of old fought Carthaginian galleys in the bay, and that the 
very Northmen, when going to the Crusades early in the 
twelfth century, obtained naval victory in sight of the Rock 
of rocks. 

In 1607 was conducted, uiidcr the batteries of the Rock, 
which were then in Spanish hands, that naval combat which 
Su!l\' desciihes as *''■ the most furious battle which was ever 
fought in the memory of man." This happened between the 
Dutch Vice-Admiral, Jacob Heemskerk, with ten or tv/elvc 
vessels, and the Sp.uiish Admiral, Don Juan Alvares d'Avila, 
with a force which was four times as strono; as that of his 
enemy. In spite of this disproportion the Hollander utterly 
ruined the Spaniard, '' and filled all Spain with horror." 
Heemskerk was as audacious as J^lake at Santa Cruz, and as 
valiantly resolute as Nelson in the fight ofF the neighbourin"- 
C:ipeTraf.dg;ir, which occurred almost two centuries after this 
glorious Dutch sailor sealed with his blood the freedom of his 
ct)untry, made Henri the Fourth of France rub his hands, and 
dashed the schemes of Spinola to pieces. Of this memorable 
combat, so im}-)ortant in its results, few Englishmen know 
anything. Probably not one in ten of the garrison of Gibraltar 
ever heard of it. By and by we shall tell more about it. 



The Bay of Cadiz seems yet to ring with the names of 
Drake, Howard of Effingham, Blake, Collingwood, and Nelson. 
These combats took place to the north and east of the place ; 
from the south, otY Cape Spartel, Howe's and Cordova's guns 
were heard in Gibraltar on the 20th of October, 1782, as those 
of Rooke and Thoulouse had been audible, so they say, when 
in combat at sea, off Malaga, and far to the eastward, on the 
13th of August, 1704. This List was a tremendous fight, 
which is, however, hardly named in what are called '' Histories 
of Eniiland"i yet more than fifty ships on each side were 
en^a^^ed, and nearly six thousand men disabled or killed. On 
our side, besides lesser men, were Rooke, l)yng (Lord 1 or- 
rington). Sir Cloudesley Shovel, and Sir John Leake. These 
are but a few of the famous Englislnnen ; these are a lew of 
the acts they have performed, external to, but in direct rela- 
tionship with, the fortress of which we write. It was in the 
mood caused by memories of these deeds that Browning wrote 
'' Home l^hou'^hts from the Sea" ; and, in words that sound 
like the voice of some enormous organ, thu^ expressed the 
feelinirs of manv, when sailin'j^ into the Straits : 

" Nobly, nobly Cape St. Vincent to the north-west died away ; 
Sunset ran, one glorious blood-red, reeking into Cadiz Bay j 
Bluish, mid the burning water, full in face Trafalgar lay ] 
In the dimmest north-cast distance dawned Gibraltar, grand and gray ; 
' Here and here did England help me,— how can 1 help England ?'— say, 
Whoso turns as 1, this evening, turn to God to praise and pr.iy, 
While Jove's planet rises yonder, silent over Africa." 

These triumphs or defeats deeply concern us, the English, 
althou(>h our holdin"^ of the Rock is but of little more than a 
century and a half's duration ; yet what must be the thoughts 
of a Spaniard with regard to this piece of his own tirritory, 
which was held by his countrymen in uninterrupted possession 
for two centuries and a half before it fell into our hands ; the 

» ' 


very armorial bearings of which we have adopted from those 
given by Henry of Castile and Leon, armorials which are at 
once suggestions of the position and the value of the place. 
They are a castle with a key pendant at the gate. I'hese in- 
signia express that the place is the key of the Mediterranean 
and of Spain, and seem to signify that it belon2;s, and has 
belonged, to the greatest maritime power. Such were the 
Moors who first fortified the Rock ; such the Spaniards until 
its capture notified their loss of that position ; so, it is hoped, 
aie the English. Again, as to the first military holders, the 
Moors can hardly be so sunk from memories of old fame as to 
be indifferent to this place. From the fortifying by Taric-ebn- 
Zeyad, in 711,* until 1309, a period of five hundred and 
ninety-eight years, or, to measure by our own history, as 
long as the space of time which has elapsed since the last 
of the Crusades, this place remained in Moorish hands : 
they made it what it was. Ferdinand the Fourth then 
besieged and took it; the Spaniards had but short tenancy this 
time, for twenty-five years later, the Mahommedans again 
captured it. They held it until 1462, when the Duke of 
Medina-Sidonia took it for his people, or rather for himself. 
'Fhus it remained until the daring of an English admiral in 1704 
placed it in the present ownership. 'Fhus altogether the 
A4oors held the place about seven centuries and a quarter 
(seven hundred and twenty-six years), which, to measure back 
in our own history an equal space, brings our thoughts to the 
year i 142, or nine years after the birth of Henry the Second, 
I.e. to the eighth year of King Stephen. 

Such was the holding of the Moors, in all about seven cen- 
turies and a quarter from the making a castle on the Rock, to 

* Gibbon dates the first landing of the conquering Moors in 710 a.d. 




the last sorrowful departure of the remnants of the nation. It 
has been said, with more of poetical than absolute truth, that 
Gibraltar was the landing-place uf the vigorous i\loori>li race, 
and that it was the point of departure on which their footsteps 
lingered last. In short, it was the European tete de pout ot which 
Ceuta stands as the African fellow. Bv these means mvriads 
of Moslems passed into Spain, and vv^ith them much for which 
the Spaniards are wrongfully unthankful. It i^ said that when 
the Moors left their houses in Granada, which thcv did with, 
so to say, everything standing, many families took with them 
the great wooden keys of their mansions, so confuk'nt were 
they of returning home again, when the keys should open the 
locks, and the houses be joyful anew. It was not to be as 
thus longed for, but many families in Barbary still keep the 
keys of these long ago deserted and destroyed mansions, retain 
keys of houses which have crumbled into dust centuries since. 

As to the Spaniards who reside in San Rocpie, a town which 
was founded in 1704 for the reception of those who were 
pitilessly expelled from Gibraltar by the English under Rooke, 
they still look upon themselves as citizens ot the Rock, and 
by no means despair of returning to their former possessions. 
The Kin'i^ of Spain still includes Calpe in his dominions, 
and natives thereof are entitled, says Eord, to the rights and 
privileges of Spanish birth. 

The feelings of the Erench on the subject of the Rock are 
thus humorously described by Eord, the writer to whom we 
have just referred, in his '*' Handbook for Spain," part i. {xige 
270: "■Gibraltar, Combragcuse puissanc^ is excessively dis- 
pleasing to all Erench tourists ; sometimes there is too great a 
luxe de canons in this fortress ornce^ then the gardens destroy 
'wild nature,' in sht)rt, they abuse the red jackets, guns, 
nursery-maids, and even tlie monkeys; ever perfidious, say 

they, is the ambitious aggression of England. The truth 
simply is, that this key of their lake is too strong, and can't be 
taken bv their fleets and armies." 

We have referred mainly to great naval battles which were 
fought in the neighbourhood of the Rock, to the exclusion of 
the military achievements of the nations here in question. Of 
recent or modern combats on land, it is not needful to recall to 
the memory of the reader those which took place at Tarifa, 
almost within sight of (Gibraltar, and Barrosa. Napier's 
"History of the Peninsular War" has fully accounted for 
these in the memories of Eng-lishmen. Einallv, as to its broad 
significance, the Rock is, as Burke said, when debating in 
order to the retention of Gibraltar in our hands, " a post of 
power, a post of superiority, of connections, of commerce ; 
one which makes us invaluable to our friends, and dreadful to 
our enemies." 

Out of the antagonistic feelings of the Moors and Spaniards, 
wrath and hatred, which have been cherished for centuries — 
that is, for more than one thousand years, and may, as repre- 
senting opposed lands, date even before the Carthaginians 
and the Romans went to war — a source of comfort and 
security for our possession of Gibraltar has been established. 
JFe do not interfere with the folks on the south side of 
the Strait ; they supply us with provisions, which, during 
the Cjreat Siege were of enormous value to the garrison. It 
is noteworthy that the Gothic tribes of Spain were by the 
Moors called Riim, or Romans. These Adoors — a com- 
prehensive name we give to the tribes that rose or were 
pushed forward under the influence of Mahommedan fanati- 
cism and desire for territory, which means plundering of 
other folks' goods — were successors of the Carthaginians whom 
the Romans had ravaged many a year before. Erequent 

I*, i 



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attempts had been made to capture the southern provinces of 
Spain before the successful hmding of Tarlc ; thc^c attempts 
failed because the (joths were strong : they succeeded when 
they were weak. The Goth, or \'ibiguth, wa^ the conqueror 
and inheritor of the Roman, and '■^ came in '' f;)r his responsi- 
bilities of hate. I'hus it has been even from the time when 
the Phcenician people kept the Straits by fraud t)r lurce, to 
the last Morocco war of the Spaniards ^ thus the hate is illus- 
trated when the Aloors shoot the Spanish convicts who straggle 
or try to escape from Ceuta, that little hell upon earth, the 
other Pillar of Hercules, which Spain holds by way of attempt 
at a bridle to Gibraltar, as, before the Moorish conquest, she 
held it as a companion to the Rock of l^iric— a fatal com- 
panionship as it turned out, if the legend be true which makes 
Count Julian the traitor to King Roderic the (joth, and Lord 
ofCeuta. There seems no end to this inheritance ot wrath, 
the be2.inninir of which is lost in the ni^ht of a^es. 

Thus much of the feelino;s of men with reiiard to this Rock 
— '^ The Rock" par excellence^ ix'^ all men who are fmiiliar 
with the spot style Gibraltar — the Mountain or Rock ot 
1 aric. 





i-'W/'-' '»"* '-J \"^ ' 'i-^ '»i 




^^rr^^^c^O save the trouble of referrino^ to a mnp, a few 




words mav be iriven here in describino^ the 

y o to 

topographv, or rather geography of the spot 

-^ in question. The Pha^iician name of the Rock 

signifies an earthen vessel, or hollow mountain resembling a 
vessel, for on the west ^ide, and facing the setting sun, it is 
open like an urn or pitcher. Pomponius Mela wrote, " T^he 
narrow sea then opens, and the mountains Abyla and Calpc 
make the coasts of F.urope and Africa appear nearer than 
they really are. Both these mountains indeed, but that of 
Calpe in particular, stretch themselves towards the sea ; 
beyond this is a bay where, as some think, Carteia was placed, 
formerly called Tartessus, which the Phoenicians who came 
from Africa inhabited." Several points should be fixed in the 
reader's memory as better for service than a map. As the 
most ancient account has it, the truth of which is still obvious, 
the Rock of Gibraltar, or, anciently, Calpe^ stands at the 
extremity of a tongue of sandy land, is of an elongated form, 
with its greater axis running nearly north and south. On the 
west side of this rock and its point of sand is the so-called 
Bay of Gibraltar, a very deep inlet to the land, on the western 
side of which is Algeciras ; the opposing horn faces the Rock, 
and is called Cabreta Point. On the west side of the Rock the 
Mediterranean rolls, at the edge of lofty cliffs. It is not the 
most southern part of Spain, for the spot to the westward of 


^i; f 







the bay whereon Tarita stands owns that distinction. From the 
latter point the coast trends to the north-west and is marked 
by many bays or notches, and forms part of the Bay of Cadiz. 
On the east side of the Rock the land runs to the north-cast 
towards Malaga. Gibraltar stands within the Straits on the 
east in a posidon which corresponds to that of Tarifa on 
the west. Between these points is the Strait or (]ut ot 
Gibraltar, the Fn-tion Gad'itamim or Herculeum. The south 
coast of the Strait is composed ot the other Pillar of Hercules, 
or Abyla as they called It of old, as now It Is named Ccut,i, 
and the adjacent land. I'his is the most northerly p.)int of 
that part of Africa, and the Liiul slopes to the south-west 
or towards the Atlantic, including Old and New Tan-ur, 
as the sites of these towns are respectively called, on each 
side of a bay. Cape Spartcl is at the western extremity of 
this, the south side of the Strait, and Cape Trafdgar, erst 
the Cape of Juno, forms the opposing point of the north 
or Spanish land. The whole coast is, at intervals, strewn 
with remains of Phcenician works, with Roman wrecks of 
towns and temples. Wc have the Lu.lf.rl Templum, or 
Temple of Venus, at Gades, the modern Cadiz, said to be 
the most ancient town in Europe ; Tarifa, which is reputed 
to be the ancient Julia Traducta. On the other hand, so 
to write, of Gibraltar, are Carteia and Ximena, where Crassus 
was hidden. In the very name of Medina-Sidonia we recall 
the Pha-nician Asidon, thj City of Sidon itself. The name 
of Pillars of Hercules refers to classical and most antique 
belief, for such columns v/ere reputed to exist wherever the 
utmost extent of land was known. I1uis I'acitus, writing of 
the Frisii, who inhabited the extremities of Friesland, as 
we nov/ style it, states, '' I'heir settlements stretch aloi.g the 
border of the Rhine to the ocean, and Include, besides, vast 




lakes which have been navigated by the Roman fleets. We 
(the Romans) have even explored the ocean itself on that side ; 

and fnnc reports that the Columns of Hercules are still 
remaining on that coast ; whether it be that Hercules was 
ever there in reality, or that whatever great and magnificent is 
met with, is, by common consent, ascribed to his renowned 
name. 'I'he attempt of Drusus (jcrmanicus to make dis- 
co\'ericS In the^c parts was sufflcientlv darin2; ; but the ccean 
opposed any further in.quiry into itself and Hercules. After 
a while no one renewed the attempt, and it was thout;ht more 
pious and reverential to believe the actions of the gods than to 
investigate them." So, with hne irony, wrote Facitus, in a 
time when Drusus Germanicus was to be flattered, but in a 
spirit \ er\' different frt)m that which animated the Romans 
centuries before the day of the historian. 'Fhe setting up of 
pillars as landmarks not only appears in the Rt)man traditions 
as concerning Hercules in Frisia, and the Greeks, from whom 
the Romans borrowed the notion of his labours, in Spain, but 
was the practice of the Assyrians in their conquests in the far 
east, of the Egyptians, and, lastly, of the Hebrews, as their 
Scriptures tell us In more than one case. 'Fhere were Pillars 
of Hercules in Soutb.ern India itself. Among the earlv names 
of Calpe (Gibraltar) and Abyla (Ceuta) were variously the Pillars 
of Briareus, /F.gieon, and Cronos. 'Fhese termini — for such 
thev Were believed were described as standing on the western 
margin ot the earth, on the road to Elysium and the Hesperides, 
where '' the primeval waters of the circling Oceanus were 
first seen, in which the source of all rh'ers was then souirht." 
^^ At Phasis," wrote Huniboldt, whose words picture antique 
ideas of the Cjaditan Straits better than any others which we 
know, ^' tlie na\Igators of the Euxine again found themselves 
on a coast beyond which a sun lake was supposed to be situated, 




t i.'.. 



^ '111 


and south of Gadeira (Cadiz) and Tartessus (supposed to be 
Carteia) their eyes, for the first time, ranged over a boundless 
waste of waters ! It was this circumstance which, for fifteen 
hundred years, gave to the gate of the Inner Sea a pecuHar 
character of importance. Ever striving to pass onwards, 
Phccnicians, Greeks, Arabs, Catalans, Majorcans, Frenchmen 
from Dieppe and La Rochclle, Genoese, Venetians, Portu- 
guese and Spaniards, in turn attempted to advance across the 
Atlantic Ocean, held long to he a miry, shallow, dark and 
misty sea, or sea of shadows, until, proceeding from station to 
station, as it were, these southern nations, after gaining the 
Canaries and the Azores, finally came to the new continent, 
which had, however, alrcaJv been re.ichcJ bv the Northmen 
at an earlier period and from a different direction. 

It is not less as a grand modern fortress and '' coign of 
vantai^e" to England in these ages, than as one of the gate- 
pillars of all knowledge, to the we^t of the Mediterranean, of 
commerce illimitable and splendid energies, that we must look 
with eyes of intensest interest upon the Shininc; Rock. 
"Fhere can be verv little doubt but that the PhaMiicIans were 
the first to pass the Strait^ of which Calpe and Abyla are now 
the landmarks, and, as of old, the guardians. Whatever may 
be thou^^ht of the ancientness of Aledina-Sidonia, an inland 
place, there can be no doubt that the people of Pha-nicia 
founded their Gadir, the Roman (jades, as an entrepot tor 
silver, and a commercial port on the very borders of the 
Shadowy Sea, or that Tartessus, w^here was a temple to the 
son of Baal, Malcarthus, the Tyrian Hercules, was a station 
of theirs two hundred years before the settlement at Carthage. 
Doubtless, also, is it that the real fears of these early naviga- 
tors of the Inner Sea, or their cunning commercial jealousy 
of other races, invested the ocean beyond it with prodigious 




terrors. By such means these voyagers long kept the secret 
of trade to themselves ; and whether they stole along the 
coasts of Spain and France to Britain, where were the Cassi- 
terides or Isles of Tin, or struck boldly, very boldly, straight 
to the Cornish shores, the secret of the sea was kept for at 
least an age before the foundation of Carthage, the rival of 
youthful Rome. Tin was the chief inducement of this 
secrecv and these voyages. To realise the value of this trade, 
one must think how important was that metal to the needs 
and civilising of a world without iron, and which could not 
make a tool or a weapon of bronze without its aid. Thus, 
the Ph.rnicians held, as we said, the secret of the sea ; and they 
were a people whose governors were not likely to be negligent 
of means for maintaining the mystery, or merciful towards 
those who mi^ht endeavour to unravel it. What chance 
would the crew of a (jreek galley have with a more powerful 
Pha-nician craft, if they met outside the Pillars ? It was not 
until long after the time of Homer that a Grecian ship passed 
the Rock of Calpe into the Outer Sea. The voyage of 
Ulysses' old age, when he is said to have vanished in the 
western seas, hardly extended so far, although the declaration 
of Proteus to Alenelaus points to that Elysion of the Greeks 
which was placed in the Outer Sea, beyond the darkness; for 
the iiod said to Alenelaus, after referrinir to Ulvsses : 

" He is Laertes' son, whom I bchelJ 
In nymph Calypso's palace, who compelTd 
His stay with licr j and, since he could not sec 
His country earth, he mourn'd incessantly. 
For he had neither ship instruct with oars, 
Nor men to fetch him from those stranger sliores. 
Wliere leave we him, and to thyself descend, 
Whom not in Argos P'ate nor Death shall end, 
Tut the immortal ends of all the earth, 
So ruled by them that order death by birth, 


h 'I' ! 

•i \ 





The fields Elysian, Fate to thee will give ; 
Where Rhadamanthus rules, and where men live 
A never-troubled lite, where snow, nor showers, 
Nor irksome Winter spends his fruitless powers } 
But from the ocean Zephyr still resumes 
A constant breath, that all the fields perfumes. 
Which, since thou marriedst Helen, are thy hire. 
And Jove himself is, by her side, thy sire." 

Cbajjinans Il^mcr^s OJysseys* 

The stories of a Blessed Tvand out in the AtLintic, P'Jy"=;ium, 
Flesperides, and what not ; the alleged, and by no means 
improbable, discovery of America itself by the ; 
the dark rumours that antique poetry hinted at, all referred to 
the Straits of Hercules, Briareus, or Cronos, where Calpe and 
Abyla stood and stand like shining pillars, no less geographical 
than historical in their infinite relationships and connections 
of ideas. 

'' On the north-west coast of Africa," snvs Strabo, '^ there 
were seven hundred cities of ^iyiidn origin \ and the explo- 
rations of that people had reached fu'ther than the limits of Cape 
Bojador, and a long w.i\- to the south of tb.e Canaries, which 
islands were known to them." From Cadi/ (C}ades) Colum- 
bus himself sailed, on his second voyage to the disco\ eiy '^ of 
that great antiquity, America," as Sir lliomas Browne wrote 
of it. From Palos, which is on the Tinto, a ri\er of the Bav 
of Cadiz, his first settino; out took i)lace. '' Startin^j; from the 

* Readers of the Laureate's verse will be reminded by this fragment of " ChiptiKms 
mighty line " in reproducing Homer, of the noble description of that northern or 
Eritish Elysium, Aviiion, to which Ring Arthur was bound. 

" I he island valley of Avilicn ; 
Where tails not hail, or rain, or any enow. 
Nor ever wind blows loudly ; but it lies 
Dcep-meadow'd, happy, fair with orchard-lawns 
And bowery hulluWa crown'd with summer sea." 

Mor/c D.irthur, 



■ ■ 


Pillars " is the expression of Strabo at the very opening of his 
'' Geography," in describing the circumnavigation of the 

The circumnavigation of Africa, thus described by Herodo- 
tu<?, refers to the Pillars of Flercules in a verv interesting 
manner, if we consider the joy with which the travellers 
must have hailed the well-known hmdmarks as they shone 
upon them in the sea, ''Libya" (Africa\ writes the father 
of historv and hrst recorder of science, " shows itself to be 
surrounded by water, except so much of it as borders on Asia. 
Necho, Kin'^ of F^vpt, was the first whom wx- know of that 
fust proved this ; he, when he ceased digging the canal leading 
from the Nile to the Arabian Gulf, sent certain Phoenicians in 
ships, with orders to sail back through the Pillars of Hercules 
into the Mediterranean (Northern Sea of Egypt), and so 
return to Egypt. The Phoenicians accordingly, setting out 
from the \l^^ Sea, navigated the Southern Sea ; when autumn 
came they went on shore, and sowed the land by w^hatever 
part of Libya they happened to be sailing, and waited for 
harvest ; then, having reaped the corn, they put to sea again. 
When two years were thus passed, in the third, having 
doubled the Pillars of Hercules, they arrived in Egypt, and 
related, what to me does not seem credible, but may to 
others, that, as they sailed round Libya, they had the sun on 
their rl"-ht hand. 'Fhus w^as Libva first known. 

'' Subsequentlv the Carthaginians say that Libya is surrounded 
by water. For Sataspes, son of 'Feaspes, one of the Achae- 
menidii', did not sail round Libya, though sent for that very 
purpose ; but, dreading the length of the voyage and the 
desolation, returned home, and did not accomplish the task 
which his mother imposed on him ; for he had violated a virgin, 
daughter of Zophyrus, son of Alegabyzus j whereupon, when 

; « * 

II' : 


[ I 



he was about to be impaled for this offence by King Xerxes, 
the mother of Sataspes, who was sister to Darius, begged 
him ofF, promising that she would inflict a greater punishment 
upon him than he would, for she would constrain hnn to sail 
round Libva until, sailinir round, he would reach the Arabian 
Gulf. Xerxes having agreed to these terms, Sataspes went 
into Egypt, and, having taken a ship and men from thence, 
sailed throu-h the Pdlars of Hercules; and, having sailed 
through and doubled the Cape of Libya, whose name is Soloeis 
(Cantin), he steered to the southward ; but, after traversing 
a vast extent of sea for many months, when he found he had 
still more to pass, he turned back, and sailed away for Egypt. 
P>om thence, iroinc!; to Kino; Xerxes, he told him that in the 
most distant part of the world he sailed past a nation of little 
men, who wore garments made of palm leaves, who, whenever 
they drew near the shore, left their cities and tlew to the 
mountains ; that his men, when they entered their country, 
did them no injury, but only took some cattle from them. Oi 
his not sailing completely round Eibya, this he said was the 
cause : that his ship could not proceed any farther, but was 
stopped. Xerxes, however, being persuaded that he did not 
speak the truth, as he had not accomplished the task im[)osed 
upon him, impaled him, inflicting the original sentence." 

This happened in Herodotus's own district, for he says, 
going on in his delightful way to give local colour to the 
matter in question, 'W\ eunuch of this Sataspes, as soon as he 
heard of his master's death, ran away to Samos with great 
wealth, which a Safnian detained; though I know his name, I 
purposely conceal it. The inuendo of the last sentence is 
delicious. As to the difficulty of getting any farther than 
where indicated by the outward route of Ciibraltar, readers will 
note what Strabo states in his ^' Introduction"; "All those 

■.ylW'tt i"Pi -- *~« 

4 'I 



who have sailed along the shores of Libya, whether starting 
from the Arabian Gulf or the Pillars, after proceeding a cer- 
tain distance, have been obliged to turn back again on account 
of a variety of accidents." '' Ephorus," adds Strabo, ''tells us 
it is reported by the Tartcssians, that some of the Ethiopians, 
on their arrival in Libya, penetrated into the extreme west 
and settled there, while the rest occupied the sea coast." 

What had, at the time of Christ, which is that of Strabo, 
become of the ci\'ilisati()n established by the Phoenician people 
ill Spain, we may learn from what the geographer tells us of 
the people who then inhabited the western part of modern 
Andalusia, /.r. the Turdetani, that they '' were esteemed the 
most intelligent of all the Iberians, they had an alphabet, and 
possessed ancient writings, poems, and metrical laws which are 
six thousand years old, as they say. The other Iberians are 
likewise furnished with an alphabet, although not of the same 
form, nor do they speak the same language, l^he country of 
the Turdetani, which is on this side of the Guadiana, extends 
eastward as flir as the country about the sources of the 
(juadalquivir (Oretania), and southward along the sea coast to 
the Pillars. But it is necessary that I should enter into par- 
ticulars concerning this and the neighbouring places, in order 
to illustrate their industry and fertility. Between this coast, 
where the Guadalquivir and Guadiana discharge themselves, 
and the extremities of Maurusia, the Atlantic ocean forms 
the strait at the Pillars, by which it is connected with the 
Mediterranean. Here is situated Calpe^ the mountain of the 
Iberians, who are denominated Bastitani, by others Bastuli. 
Its circumference is not large, but it is so steep and high as to 
resemble an island in the distance. Sailing from the iMcdi- 
terranean into the Atlantic, it is on the right hand. At the 
distance of forty stadia from this Rock, is the considerable and 





ancient city of Carteia, formerly a marine arsenal of the 
Iberians. Some assert that it was founded by Hercules: of 
this number is Tiinosthencs (the admiral of Ptolemy the 
Second, one of Strabo's frequent informants), who tells us it 
was anciently called Heraclca, and that vast walls and ship- 
sheds are still seen. Next to these is Mellaria (Fahle Vacca), 
where they make salted provisions. After this the city and river 
of Belo (Barbete). Here the merchandise and salted provi- 
sions for Tingis (Tanglers), in Maurusia (Morocco), arc 
principally shipped. There was a city named Zclis near to 
Tincns ; but the Romans transferred it to the opposite coast 
(Spain), and having placed there, in addition, some of the 
inhabitants of Tingis, and sent over also some of their own 
people, they then gave to the city the name of Julia J'za 
{Julia Transducta^ Algcciyas)^ 

Further than this, our geographer gives an account of the 
district of the Turdetani, which would be worthy ot a (jovern- 
ment Commission of Inquiry in these days. lie describes the 
nature of the coast, with its deep inlets, which the sea fills 
with extraordinary violence, and as suddenly leaves enipty at 
the reflux of the tide ; the Oracle of Menestheus, and the 
Lighthouse of Coepio, '•'built upon a rock that is washed upon 
all sides by the sea;" the mouths of the Guadalquivir (Bivtis) ; 
the Temple of Phosphorus — Lux Duhia ; the Guadiana and the 
Sacrum Promontorium (Cape St. Vincent}^ Cordova, Cadiz, 
and Seville (Corduba, Gades, and Hispalis). The vastness of 
the population delighted Strabo no less than the richness of the 
banks of the Bxtis, where the eye is delighted with groves 
and gardens in the highest state of cultivation. The fields 
are marvellously fertile ; they are intersected with canals ; 
the people trade with Italy and Rome ; their ships at Ostia 
" are in number nearly equal to those of Libya," and are of 



^ » 



the greatest size ; corn, wine, oil, wax, honey, dyes, Ver- 
million, '' not inferior to that of Sinope," timber, salt, salted 
fish, wool, '^ finer than that of the Coraxi," and produced from 
sheep the breeding rams of which are worth a talent ; woven 
stuffs of incomparable texture, cattle and gan^ie, oysters and 
other shell fish of prodigious size abound, says the evidently 
deeply-moved geographer, and he avers that the same is the case 
with all kinds of cctacea, narwhals, whales, and physcteri^ which, 
when they blow up the waters from their snouts, appear to 
observers from a distance to make it resemble a cloud shaped 
like a column. The congers and the lampreys are monstrous, 
also the keruka and cuttle-fish of Carteia, which would con- 
tain as much as ten cotyLc (a gallon!); the polypes weigh 
about half a hundredweight, the squids are two cubits in 
len'j;th, and the tunnies abundant. Gold, silver, copper, and 
iron are better and more abundant in Turdetania than in any 
other part of the world ; gold grains weighing half a pound 
have been found ; the other metals are equal. 

Strabo goes on to show that this province, which we now 
call Andalusia, was probably the " P^ortunate Land " itself, 
that Homer might have founded the name of Tartarus upon 
that of Tartessus, that the air is pure as that of Heaven ; the 
visits of Hercules had made the place glorious. He says, and 
doubtless trulv, that the Phoenicians were the discoverers of 
this spot of heavenly earth before the time of Homer, and 
remained masters of it until the Romans conquered them ; 
they continued, in his time, polished and urbane in their 
manners ; finally, he adds, that their wealth was so great that 
Hamilcar found them using silver casks and goblets for wine ; 
abundance and long- living were so proverbial of this district 
that Anacreon sung, '' Neither would I desire the horn of 
Amalthea^ nor to reign over Tartessus one hundred and fifty years'' 



Poinponlus Mcki, who describes Gibraltar in terms which arc 
still applicable, Pliny and Strabo, appear to have thought this 
glorious city of Tartessus was Carteia. 

The legends or the journeyings of Ulysses, the voyage of 
the Aro-onauts, and the labours of Hercules in those regions, 
need no more than a brief reference here. Attcr reading 
Strabo's description of Andalusia, rich as it is in frccpient 
reference to Calpe (Gibraltar), the inspiration of the inventors 
of these legends is fully recognisable. 







,,r->rpj S we have stated before, the first human inhabit- 
T Uu '['. ants of the Shining Rock were the Moors, who 
i^'^nA/^' fortified Gibraltar soon after their landing ; but 
SL*-M-i the aborigines were undoubtedly the monkeys, 
who still occupy the remoter portions of the place, and are 
very interesting to their military and civil British neighbours. 
These primitive creatures remained in possession during the 
Phtrniciaii a<^c, the Roman centuries, and those which fol- 
lowed, while the Visigoths and other tribes fought and cut 
each other's throats in the neighbourhood j they must have 
seen Taric land with his hungry Mauritanians and Berbers ; 
they must have been disturbed when these new-comers 
built their fort, for, except some fishermen drying their nets 
on the sands below the haunts of the apes, or stray huntsman 
armed with the famous sling of Spain, no one had been there 
duriiv^ the lon'»- a(rcs while the Rock shone before Carteia. 

to too 

The Phuenician sails and the sounding oars of the Roman 
galleys were familiar enough to them ; they saw the country 
rise acrain to full prosperity under the careful hands of the 
Moors ; the shouts of Gothic and Oriental warriors were 
heard by them when king after king of Castile attacked the 
fortress ; so the booming of the cannon of Spanish, Dutch, 
French, and English ships was heard as plainly as they hear 
the "^ gun-fire " of to-day. They saw Hanno pass the Straits 
with his Carthaginian galleys on a voyage of discovery, and 




Strabo's friend, Timosthenes, admiral of Ptolemy, busy in his 
official work. Besides merchantmen of Tyre, Carthage, 'Vai- 
tessus, and Gades, the great ships of the last-named city were 
seen going to Ostia with corn ; the Moor, the Algerian from 
within and the Salee rover from without the Straits, the 
galleys of the knights of Rhodes and Malta, the traders of 
Venice and Genoa, and those of Elizabeth, the Armada of 
Philip, the big Dutch craft bound for Smyrna or Alepp(^ the 
Crusaders going to Jerusalem, and, among the first of these 
last, Sigurd, King of Norway, who, in 1109, fought a battle 
with certain Pagans In the very Straits of Gibraltar, or Norfa 
Sound, as the Northmen called it, after the first Viking who 
passed into the Inner Sea. All these were as well known to 
the countless generations of monkeys of the Rock, as the line- 
of-battle ships of Blake, Rooke, Rodney, Nelson, Byng, 
and Jervis, of Thoulouse, Langara, and Cordova of the last 
century, the '^ P. and O. boats" and Iron-clads of to-day. 

Except for a few more holes bored by the indefatigable 
English for their galleries of guns, there is very little change 
in the appearance of the Rock since the monkeys have held it. 
The first Pha:nician merchant who passed the Pillars might 
almost have used the words of Childe Harold : 

*' Through Calpe's Straits survey the stcepy shore ; 
Europe and Afric on each other gaze ' 
Lands of the dark-eved maid and duslcv Moor 
Alike beheld beneath pale Hecate's blaze : 
How softly on the Spanish shore she plays, 
Disclosing rock, and slope, and forest brown, 
Distinct, though darkening with her waning phase ; 
But Mauritania's giant shadows frown, 
From mountain cliff to coast descending sombre down." 



f^^'^cT/'Tf/^ £ l^.^yQ ^}^y5 described the present aspect of the 
f -*; VX\$v\''*''*|( \ Rock of Gibraltar, so far as it is not an act 
vi . x\.\/K\//- ,A ^^f supererogation to do so, when our photo- 

*■ \ 

graphs efficiently represent the place, and give 
a far truer idea, on an inch or two of paper, than a million of 
words and the greatest literary craft could contrive. We 
have endeavoured to express the feelings of many nations in 
respect to the subject, and, in passing, referred to the early 
phases of its history. We left it, historically, in the hands of 
descendants of the great mother, l^yre. How the country 
passed into those of the Romans is next to be recounted. 
According to Alarlana, the Spanish historian, whom It may be 
most convenient to consult here, the country we now call 
Andahria, Strabo's commercial heaven upon earth, was, at 
about t'lx hundred and twenty years before Christ, governed by 
Argantonius, King of the pe:)ple of Tartessus. He went to 
war with, or otherwise came In opposition to, the Gaditans, 
subdued them, but gained for himself a troublesome course of 
'' rebellions." Argantonius*s reign was of long duration, and 
fame writes of the prosperity of his country. Either in course 
of rebellions or by the natural gravitating of weaker peoples 
towards a greater, the country hereabouts became Carthaginian ; 
the people of this 1 yrlan colony captured Gades from the 
Phoenicians, which act offended the people of Carteia, who, 
being a mixture of Phoenicians and others, remained Independent 
until Hannibal came to Spain. 

2 + 


The history of the efforts of the Carthaginians in Spain, 
which were mainly directed to obtain compensation for the 
loss of Sicily and Sardinia to the Romans at the close 
of the first Punic War, is known, and need be but briefly 
recapitulated here. Gades was, as we have seen, in alliance 
with Carthao:e at the time Hanulcar bent all the fierce and vet 
sullen resolves of his tremendous will to punishing the greed 
of the Romans with regard to the extorted cession of the hrst- 
named island, and a further demand of twelve hundred talents 
to the three thousand five hundred which were dictated by the 
treaty of peace, when the revolted mercenaries of Carthage in 
Sicdy were accepted as alHes of Rome. Hamilcar had dealt 
already with the mercenaries of the Inexpiable War, and this 
additional demand, which involved the cession ot Corsica als(^, 
did but deepen his strenuous hate. Far-seeing as he wa-, Spain, 
where his people already had the seats and alliances which we 
have indicated, presented a held for the acquisition of power 
to replace the losses of the islands and ot his people. Ik- 
departed for that country, and the goxerning council ot 
Carthaize, thiU oliirarchv of oli'j;archies, was glad to see his 
back turned towards them, inasmuch as this centralising leader 
was hardly less feared by them than the Romans. In the 
year 235 B.C., Hamilcar crossed the Straits of Gibraltar, taking 
with him Hasdrubal, and Hannibal, then nine years of age. 
The oath which Hamilcar accepted from Hannibal is thus 
described by Livy : '^ There is, besides, a story that Hannibal, 
when about nine years of age, while he boyishly coaxed his 
fiithcr Hamilcar that he might be taken to Spain, was con- 
ducted to the altar, and, having laid his hands upon the 
offerings, was bound by an oath to prove himself, as soon as 
he could, an enemy to the Roman people. Hannibal told 
the circumstances of this ceremony to Antiochus, whjn in his 
old age staying with that king." Hamilcar, says Dr. Liddell, 



set out, not as the servant of Carthage, but as the enemy of 
Rome, with teelings of personal hostility, not to be appeased 
save by the degradation of his antagonist. He so far succeeded 
that, although he left unaccomplished the work on which his 
heart was set, yet by a prudent course of policy he had won 
the hearts of the Spaniards, strengthened the power against 
Rome by their accession, and, after eight years of etfort, died, 
leaving a new inheritance of force for the genius of Hannibal 
to employ for that end to which he was pledged, and into the 
prosecution of which he entered with unflinching and hearty 
zeal. Hasdrubal succeeded Hamilcar in power and policy, 
and was practically hereditary ruler of the south of Spain, the 
founder of Carthagena (New Carthage, as he called it), and 
entered into a nominal alliance with the Romans (227 B.C.), 
which fixed the Ebro as the boundary of the new empire 
in Spain. Hannibal succeeded Hasdrubal (221 B.C.). He 
so dealt with the tribes which remained unsubdued, that, 
except Saguntum, Spain within the boundary was in his 
power. Saguntum was an ally of Rome, but on the Cartha- 
ginian side of the Ebro by many hundred miles. The town 
was on the Palancia, where Murviedro stands now. The 
siege of Saguntum, which was undertaken by Hannibal in 
spite of Roman remonstrances, is recorded in '' Livy," with all 
the picturesque power of that great literary artist, and is one of 
the most noteworthy events in the world's history. The place 
was taken 220 B.C. When ambassadors of Rome, after bein"- 
repulsed by Hannibal, went to Carthage, Hanno, the great 
senator, thus addressed the Carthaginians in condemnation of 
the policy of Hannibal : '' It is against Carthage that Hannibal 
is now moving his vincne and towers ; it is the wall of Carthage 
that he is shaking with his battering rams. T^he ruins of 
Saguntum— Oh ! that I may be a false prophet— will fall on 



our heads, and the war commenced against the Saguntines 
must be continued against the Romans." So wrote Livy. 
It was in vain that he declaimed thus. The Carthaginians 
shared the feelings of Hamilcar and Hannibal too deeply to 
permit themselves to heed the warnings of the personal 
enemy and political opponent of those leaders. There was 
much to be said on both sides, and a great deal was 
said on that of Hannibal, while Hanno spoke alone. The 
place fell, and the Romans prepared for war ; but hrst sent 
ambassadors to Carthage, demanding if the capture the 
sanction of the home authorities. According to Livy, logic 
was on the side of the Carthaginian senate ; but words rose 
hi'^h, and, at last, Q. Fabius Butes, chief of the envoys, folded 
a part of his robe, and said, '' In this I offer you peace or war, 
choose which you will have." He might give which he 
chose, was the reply, so, letting fall the fold, Fabius gave 
them "■JVarf"'' They answered that they accepted, and 
would maintain it in the same spirit with which they accepted 
it. We do but recall these anecdotes because of their con- 
nection with Gibraltar and its great neighbour Carteia. l^he 
latter city refusing, in common with others of the neighbour- 
hood, to pay tribute, was attacked, stormed, and plundered by 
Hannibal, because it was the capital of the Olcadcs, who, with 
their allies, opposed him, in all one hundred thousand men. 
Livy states that Hannibal went to war by way of preliminary 
and pretence for his attack on Saguntum, which last act was 
expected and intended to provoke the Romans. There is no 
more of Carteia, the wealthy city, except a dim and incoherent 
rumour which is to the effect that out of its then long-desolate 
ruins the Arabs built Gibraltar, or the first fortress of the 


After the taking of Saguntum, FLmnibal marched to the 




north of Spain, proceeded with his allies through Gaul, and 
crossed the Alps to Italy in that expedition which is probably 
the most wonderful military exploit on record. The second 
Punic War was begun practically, if not ostensibly, by the 
destruction of Carteia. Hasdrubal, who had been, in the 
absence of Hannibal, left to act as commander in Spain, 
furnished supplies to the Carthaginians during their straits in 
Calabria (21 1-207 B.C.). Publius Cornelius Scipio was sent on 
the Roman part into Spain, where the senate expected the 
greiit stre'^s of the war would fall, and anywhere but at home, 
where Hannibal, nevertheless, caused it to fall. This com- 
mander, so tardy were his movements at first, found his 
cnemv on the Rhone. His brother Cnatus came to Spain in 
his place. Haimibal had much of his wish for vengeance during 
all the early portion of this momentous struggle, and at Cannas 
his unwearying hate must have been gleeful that he had bitten 
so very deeply into the hearts of the overweening Romans. 
Cna^us Scipio had enough to do with Hasdrubal, and, at last, 
was vanquished and slain, with Publius, his brother, who joined 
him on the passage of Hannibal into Italy. Spain was thus lost, 
for the time, to Rome ; Hasdrubal was expected in Italy to join 
his brother Hannibal, and the flite of Rome seemed sealed, when 
the fatal letters he had sent to the victor of Cannre were inter- 
cepted, and the tide of fortune began to turn. The battle of 
the Metaurus brought death to Hasdrubal, and another lease 
of power to Rome. 

The younger Scipio, son of one and nephew of the other of 
the slain consuls before named, had been sent to command in 
Spain (210 B.C.), where he was opposed by Mago and Has- 
drubal, brothers of Hannibal, and the namesake of the second 
who was the son of Gisgo. He captured New Carthage 
(Carthagena), and by many was welcomed as the deliverer of 



their country from the Carthaginian power ; they invited him 
to become their icing, and all the country north of the Guadal- 
quivir (Baetis) was in the hands of the Romans ; meanwhile 
HannibaFs brother set out on the journey which was to end 
so fatally on the banks of the Metaurus. The Battle of 
Elinga, on the Guadalquivir, decided the fate of the Cariha- 
ginian power in Spain, as had that of the Metaurus the fate of 
the invasion of Italy. In 206 B.C. all Spain, except (]ades, 
was in Roman hands, and Scipio prepared to attack Carthage 
in Africa itself. The slauirhter which followed his brief visit 
to Africa, and the revolt oi' the towns of Andalusia, did nut 
speak badly for the conduct of the Carthaginians towards their 
dependants in Spain. A report of Scipio's death awakened 
the old spirit against the Romans, although Carthage was 
not benefited by it, for the hopes of her people were narrowed. 
The Gaditans, long independent, and of Phoenician origin, shut 
out Maeo, the last of the sons of Hannibal, so he seized their 
chief maeiscrates, crucified them, and retired bv the Straits of 
Gibraltar to the Balearic Isles, intending to relieve Ilamilcar, 
who was shut up in the Abruzzi. We read that ten thousand 
Celtiberians landed in Africa, and offered their services to the 
Carthaginians, or rather to their ally, Scyphax, and that they 
paid sorely for their act when Scipio defeated the army of 
Carthage in the Battle of the Great Plains. The war had thus 
been brought home to the city by a repetition of that system 
of Hannibal which was begun sixteen years before when he 
invaded Italy. At Zama (202 B.C.) the war was decided 
which begun at Carteia. It was to Tyre, the mother city of 
Carthage, that Hannibal fled after his brief command in the 
latter city, and when on his way to Antiochus at Ephesus. 

It was towards the termination of the second Punic War 
that, under the command of La^lius, the Romans came with 




galleys and troops to the remains of Carteia in the Bay of Gib- 
raltar. They had in view the capture of the city of Gades, 
having, as it seems, intelligence from traitors within the place 
of a mode by which that object could be effected. The 
scheme, however, was betrayed, and the conspirators were 
taken and put on board a heavy galliass, which was part of the 
naval force of Adherbal, the Carthaginian admiral on the 
station. This galliass was less swift in sailing than the regular 
" liners " or war-galleys of his fleet, so the commander, intend- 
ing to follow with the rest, sent her on before. In passing 
the Strait she was discovered by the Romans, whose general, 
Lndius, got on board a galliass, and was carried by the current, 
which then, as now, set inwards, into the Strait. Adherbal, 
seeing this, and being discovered by the Romans, was doubtful 
which was best to be done, to fight or go after his own galliass. 
The Romans gave him little time to think, for they attacked 
the Carthaginians without delay. Livy describes how the 
ordinary rules of sea-fighting could not be observed in this 
rapid Strait ; in fact, there seems to have been " a good deal 
of sea on " at the time. " The sea running high at that place 
(off l^uifa), they could not turn their galleys, but were tossed 
about against their friends as well as against their foes ; and 
neither party could separate from his antagonist. Sometimes 
they might have seen a galley flying, turned suddenly against 
that which pursued her, by the whirling of the waves, and that 
which chased her seemed to fly away." At last one of the 
Roman galleys, a quluquirerne^ or five-banked ship, managed by 
her weight and the number of her oars, to deal better than her 
companions ; she mastered the rough seas, and stemmed, i.e. 
rammed down, one of her antagonists bodily into the sea, as 
vigorously as the fimous ram of the Confederates sent the 
Yankee ship to grief; and, by the practice of a manoeuvre which 



was well understood in antique naval warfare, swept away the 
oars from one side of a second, as she swiftly passed her. This 
double loss was too much for the Carthaginian admiral, who 
fled for the African coast, whither L;t'lius did not follow, l>ut 
returned to the Bay of Gibraltar, and from thence to New 
Carthage, where the head-quarters of Publius Scipio then were. 
So far as we know, this was the first of the long series of naval 
fiahts which have taken place in sight of Gibraltar. With the 
rest of Spain, the place fell into the Roman hands, by means of 
the treaty at the termination of the second Punic War, which 
may be said to have given all to the children of the W\)U. The 
Romans held their possession for six hundred and nineteen 
years. When Cxsar defeated the sons of Pompey, at Munda, 
Cneius Pompey took refuge at Carteia,* where his galleys were. 
Peace reigned, and thus the land grew to the state which we 
have before described in the words of Strabo. 

* The ruins at Roccadillo seem to indicate the site of antique Carteia, and, it may 
be, that of Tartessus. These ruins are about forty stadia from Gibraltar ; this was the 
distance from Calpe to Carteia, according to Strabo. 





^yjr^ NDALUSIA was included in the province of 
, n Farther Spain ; this, which was the herita^rc of 
H^;: the Carthaginians, with Hither Spain on the 
eastern coast, was all Roman before about 198 
B.C., when Cato the Elder was commander in the district. 
lie controlled the whole peninsula, but left a series of threatened 
troubles as the result of his treatment of the people. The 
father of the Gracchi pacified the country, and it remained 
quiet for many years. Meanwhile, although all these victories 
seemed glorious, the vengeance of Hannibal would, had the 
man had prescience, have been sated to the very depths of its 
incorrigible hate by observing the growth of luxury among the 
Romans. The next generation of thirty years or thereabouts 
died in circumstances and with minds which were totally 
different from those of their f ithcrs, and, as a free state, Rome 
was really far on the road to ruin. Spain, more probably than 
any other province, was open to the infamous extortions of the 
tax-gatherers; these reached such an extent that, in 149 B.C., 
public pleadings were made on behalf of the oppressed people, 
and the advocates named by the province of Farther Spain 
were Emil. Paulus and Sulp. Gallus ; in the end the accused 
withdrew from Rome. Rebellions took place, and the country 
was by no means settled after this time. It was on the 
effort to enlist soldiers for a Celtiberian (Castilian) campaign 
that, for the first time in Rome, no volunteers were forth- 

i^mim^m^--^ ?° yyywy 



coming, and that the Tribunes of the People resisted the 
attempt at forced enhstments. 7'he tremendous significance 
of these facts needs no comment. New levies were, however, 
obtained, and the young Scipio, son of Paullus, had a com- 
mand with success for the time, when the atrocity of Galba, 
blacker than Roman atrc cit\- worse than Italian treachery, 
marked no less plainly the brute nature of the num than 
the champed spirit of Roman war. Attackinir the Lusitanians 
who had revolted, he wasted their country until the\' submitted, 
and he, with '' apparent kindness," says Dr. Liddell, in con- 
densing; his ancient authority, '' answered that he was izrieved 
at the sight of the poverty of the people, and that, if they 
would meet him in three divisions, at places specified, he 
would assign lands and cities to each, as Gracchus had done. 
The simple people believed him. But Galba fell on each 
body separately with his whole force, and cut it to pieces. 
This infamous piece of treachery crushed the spirit of the 
Lusitanians; but retributive Justice awaited her time. Among 
those who escaped the sword of Galba was a young shepherd, 
Viriathus, of whom we shall hear another time." Aleanwhile 
Rome was going on her course ; she conquered her great enemy, 
and sowed, as they said, the site of the city with salt ^ if she- 
did so, it was not until after she had bathed every inch of the 
ravaged soil with her own most precious blood. " Jssyriu 
has fallen^ and Persia and Alacedon ; Carthage Is burning ; 
Rome^s day might come next.''* So said Scipio in presaging the 
fate of the merciless. The destruction of Carthage cost Rome 
more than the northern United States, with all their prodigality 
of blood, spent upon the subjugation of their former fellow- 
champions for freedom, their brethren of the South. Delenda 
est Carthago was a prophecy of Roman liberty. 

Viriathus, the represei:tative of Lusitanian freedom, having 



gathered the people about him, maintained war for a lonii; time 
against the Romans, and baffled their cunning as well as 
defeated their force in Numantia, a city which had a more 
glorious ending than even that of Carthage, and in that ending 
marked the terrible hate of all free peoples for the Romans. 
What Rome suficred, in turn, when the free peoples came 
upon her, and begun anew that civilisation which she had 
corrupted by ages of rapacity and tyranny, was not enough to 
expiate the crimes she had committed. Before Numantia fell, 
Viriathus, the fugitive from the atrocious Galba, although ac- 
knowledged as an ally of Rome, was betrayed and assassinated 
with an infamy of treachery that was worthy of the Romans. 
Like the Carthaginians, he had bitten deep into the hated heart 
of Rome. It was needful to employ Scipio again ere the freedom 
of Numantia could be drowned in blocnl, consumed in fire, and 
buried in ruins. The people of the city ate the bodies of their 
own dead, rather than submit to be civilised by the Roman 
process. The savage Scipio sold those who survived into 
the slavery they dreaded, and destroyed the city so that its 
ruins are not yet discovered. Another account in the dreadful 
reckoning against Rome was opened. 

The Servile War did not wipe off a tithe of the reckoninir 
o[ blood. The captives of many conquests had become more 
dangerous in the heart of Italy than at home, when in arms 
for their liberties. They took vengeance to the utmost of 
their power, and that was great. The city of Enna remem- 
bered their uprising. h\ Taurominium, of which the besieged 
slaves had taken possession, the revolters ate the children, 
the women, and even each other, rather than surrender to 
Roman greed. A nation which had provoked this frightful 
hate, deserved to have Nero and Elagabalus for its rulers — 
deserved to become, in turn, the slave of the Goths. 





The peace which this treatment of the Spanish people 
brought about endured until the Marian party, under Sertorius, 
disturbed it, and produced in the country a sort of echo of the 
murderous wars and revolts of Italy, Rome itself, and Gaul. 
Sertorius was for a time overcome, and souG^ht a refuse in 
those Fortunate Islands -:' which were held of old to represent 
Elysium, and are now known as the Azores. He returned 
at the invitation of the Lusitanians, and employed their valour 
so well that all the South of Spain, including Andalusia, f 
passed to the xVIarian part\', and the Romans of the partv of 
Sylla were compelled to send against him Aletellus Pius, who, 
after an effort of Sertorius's to set up a national force in Spain, 
was successful, by means of the murder of Sertorius, and the 
aid of Pompey, who pacified the province anew, f )r a time. 
Sixty-one years before Christ, C:tsar came to Spain as pro- 
prietor ; he plundered the country under the pretence of a 
revolt, and paid his creditors at home with the spoils. He 
returned to Rome to claim a triumph. He became one of the 
triumvirate, and that fate which had hung over Rome for so 
long a time came to pass at last. Spain fell to Pompey, who 
governed it by deputy, and in due time C:esar came aLrain, 
vanquished the adherents of Pompey, and, returning to Rome, 
conquered Pompey and was sole dictator. Ag:iin he returned 
to Spain, defeated the younger Pompey and his followers 
at Munda, which is not at a i^reat distance from Malao-a. From 

* Among these Fortunate Islands was, according to the opinions of the Arabs, 
Britain, " which has no mountains or rivers, and where the inhabitants drink rain-water 
and cultivate the land/' 

t Al-makkari is inclined to ascribe the origin at the name Andalusia (which, in 
the form of Andalus, the Arabs gave to the whole of Spain) to Andalus, son of Tubal, 
son of Japhcth, son of Noah. The name is corrupted from that of the Vandals, 
thinks Gayangos, who translated the work of Al-makkari on the " History of the 
IVIohammedan Dynasties in Spain." 


the triumph for this achievement to the death of Cresar was 
not more than five months. After him came Octavius, and 
the Great Republic was at an end. 

It is useless to follow the history of the Spanish provinces 
through the vicissitudes of the empire i sufhce it here that, 
with intervals, the country shared fewer of the troubles of 
the Roman world than other provinces. Centuries of com- 
mercial prosperity followed the settlement of the Roman rule 
in Andalusia ; year after year the ships of Cadiz and Carthago 
Nova sailed past the Rock, the sun shone there, and the light 
was reflected from it like a beacon. If any work was done 
there it must have been very little, for the monkeys remained in 
possession disturbed only by those who might dry nets in sight 
of their fortress ; or who, with Balearic slings, came to knock 
them on the head. These creatures and their co-tenants, the 
rabbits, had it all to themselves. Readers will remember 
Strabo's account of the complair.t of the Balearic Islanders to 
the Roman Senate, that the rabbits nearly burrowed them out of 
the islands, almost literally ate them out of house and home. 
From their Phoenician name, Saphan, the name of Spain itself 
is said to have come. 'Fhe Franks (a.d. 255) seem to have 
been the first of the barbarians who penetrated far into the 
country, which they did in the reign of Gallienus, and 
destroyed 'Farragona. Seizing ships in the Spanish ports, this 
people burst u})on the Mauritanian province, and repeated there 
the havoc of Spain. From this expedition they returned, and 
the province relapsed into peace, that was unbroken until a 
second irruption took place, and effected an almost total 
change in the character of the inhabitants of the Peninsula, and 
inspired new military ardour into their hearts. This irruption 
happened as follows in the next chapter, in which we shall 
show how another human wave was to follow those of the 




Iberians, or aborigines, and their Celtic followers, the Phccni- 
cians and their kindred of Carthage, and the Romans; to say 
nothing of the Franks, Phoca-ans and Rhodians, all of whom, 
at times that were far apart, had influence in S[iain. All these 
peoples were to leave traces of their occupations upon the 
history of Spain, nay, streams of their blood are yet recog- 
nisable in many parts oi the country. Thus, the Basques are 
still Celts ; the Iberian continues in the grave Castilian ; a 
vast proportion of the names of things, or proper names, in the 
Spanish language, are to this day almost pure Arabic— a human 
influence of which we have yet to write ; Greek and even 
more distinctly oriental characteristics yet appear in the people 
of Cadiz. Of the Visigoths, of whom we next write here, 
the traces are few and far between ; the Romans left most 
numerous relics. 

^ Y>\^^ 

"»* ^ I y' 




jK-^^^ V the end of six centuries — it may be because 
\\4\ nothing human can long endure — the Roman 
State became so thoroughly corrupt that, ten 
months before i\laric broke into Rome (a.d. 
410), the Vandals, Suevi, and others, having traversed France, 
and crained the passes of the Pyrenees through the treachery 
of the Honorian Bands, poured upon Spain, and devastated 
it in their common fashion. The whole country was wrecked 
by them, even so far to the south, as we are led to believe, 
as the Pillars of Hercules. This, if a fact, gives one a 
most powerful idea of the effect of these incursions of savage 
tribes. 'Fhat they should overrun a country, the physical 
aspect of which was so little obnoxious to the attempt as that 
of Spain, was almost as wonderful as that they should find 
the whole province so rotten as to make no effectual resistance, 
it makes us marvel that neither fear, hatred of the barbarians, 
nov the love of country, should supply force sufficient to resist 
the terrible scourging of those who, after all, must have been 
comparatively few, and almost v/ithout discipline. So it was, 
however. Gonderic, the Vandal, is recorded to have taken 
Seville, put the inhabitants to the sword, and destroyed all the 
towns of Andalusia. The name of Vandalusia was then given* 

* So £ays Cui. James, History of the Ihrculcan Strait, to which laborious but not 
luminous work we here refer. Col. James wrote his history " for the satisfaction and 



to the district which, until that time, was called Baetica ; and it 
received this title on account of the majority of its new owners 
beinor Vandals of the branch called Lilin^i. From this question- 
able fact it is said the name Andalusia was supplied. 

Ataulphus, or Adolphus, King of the Visigoths, left Italy 
for the south of Gaul, overcame Jovinus and Sebastian — who 
had revolted at Metz — and assumed the purple, slew them 
by the hand of the executioner, sent the heads of these 
chieftains to Honorius (a.d. 413), whose sister, Placidia, he 
had married, and was by his imperial brother-in-law invited to 
turn his arms against the newly-arrived barbarians in Spain. 
Accordingly he crossed the Pyrenees, took Barcelona, and is 
reckoned with the Visigothic monarchs of Spain, whose order 
runs thus : 




• 554-567 

Singeric, 7 days . 


Liuva I. . . . 


Wallia . . . 


Leovicrild . 

• 572-5^^^ 

Theodoric I. . 


Recared I. 

. 586-601 

Thorismond . 


Liuva II. . 

. 601-603 

'I'heodoric II. 


Witteric . . 

. 603-610 

Euric . . . . 



. 610-612 

Alaric 11.^^ . . 



. 612-620 

Giselric and 

Recared II. . 


Amalaric . 




Amalaric alone . 


Sisenand . ' . 

. 631-636 



Chintiila . 


Agila . . . . 


Tulga . 

. 640-641 

amusement of those gentlemen, in particular, who may have the honour of residing in 
that valuable fortress of Gibraltar, one of the richest jewels that adorn the British 

* Alaric I. was the great conqueror who took Rome, brother-in-law of Ataulphus, 
the first of the Visigothic Kings of Spain. 



Recesvinthus . 
Krvigius . 


Egica . 







. . . 680-687 

In one year after the accession of Roderic the kingdom of 
the Visigoths, which had then endured three hundred years in 
Spain, passed away. 

These were the kings of the Suevi in Spain ; we give their 
names only : 

Herman ric 
Rechil . . 


Maldra . 
Frumarius . 


In the reign of Remismund the Visigoths conquered this 
nation, and in that of Leovigild the peoples were incorporated. 

The Kings of the Vandals were as follow, so far as re^nirds 
Spain, which they entered under Gonderic, in 409. This 
chief was succeeded by Genseric, in 428. The latter reigned 
until 477; of him we presently speak further. Hunneric 
succeeded to the dominion which Genseric established in 
Africa. (lundamund followed, then Thorismund, Flilderic, 
and (lelimer completed the line of this anomalous sovereignty. 
The last was overthrown by Belisarius, in 534. 

The reign of Ataulphus, the Visigoth, was short indeed. 
He was assassinated at Barcelona by a partisan of Sarus, 
whom he had brought to death at the overthrow of Jovinus. 
Singeric, brother of Sarus, was, during a tumult, made king;' 
and he had but just time enough, in his reign of a week, to 
murder the children of Ataulphus, and insult Placidia so terribly 
as to make her, the sister of the Emperor Honorius, walk a 
dozen miles by the side of his horse. Wallia succeeded on the 
slaying of Sijigeric, which took place during another revolt, 
(jibbon quotes from SiJonius Apollinarius the following lines. 




which have direct reference to Gibraltar and the thirst of 
Wallia for further conquests to be made in Africa: 

" Quod Tartessiacis avus hujus Vallia terris 
Vandalicas turmas, et juncti Martis Alanos 
Stravit et occlduam texcre cadavera Calpem.'* 

This brouL[ht the Visii!;oths into opposition to the new 
owners of Bretica. Baffled by storms and the repeated ship- 
wrecks which took phice before his sight, near Gibraltar, 
Wallia agreed to the proposals of the Roman envoys, gave up 
Placidia, received a donation of corn, and attacked the Lilingi 
with such terrible effect that he exterminated those barbarians 
who had, in their short term of possession, ruined, or nearly 
ruined, the long-peaceful province. This was not effected, 
however, in less than three campaigns. I'he Alani were utterly 
defeated, and their king slain ; the Vandals proper succumbed 
with the Suevi, and were ultimately absorbed into the \'isi- 
gothic power. Here, in short, was fought out the ancient 
feud of the two main streams of invaders, and the fooh^h 
Honorius flattered himself that in the victory of one of them 
he had seen the end of his national troubles. Wallia professed 
to be the General of the Roman Emperor, and, accordmg to the 
view which Gibbon took of the matter, soon gave the Anda- 
lusians cause to regret the loss of the Vandals, to whose rapacity 
there seems to have been a limit, while none was found for that 
of the Visigoths, in dealing with the Romanised Spaniards. 

The inhabitants of the Peninsula were, by this time, com- 
posed of very many distinct races of men. 1 he Goths 
were of many tribes, including Visigoths or Western Cioths, 
and the Ostro or Eastern Goths •, the latter were at least as 
busy as their fellows, but in the ancient Eastern Roman 
Empire. Besides the former, the Alani, Suevi, and Vandals 
were in Spain. In Spain there were also the descendants of 







the aboriginal Iberians, Phcrnicians, Carthaginians, Romans, 
and the mixed race, or Spaniards. Even the Romans had 
never wholly overcome the Iberians. The Gothic tribes, to 
use the general name of the second Germanic invaders, fought 
against each other. In this part of the world at least, they 
continued opposed to the Romans, so that Genseric, the 
illeo;itimate brother of Gonderic, althouo-h he brouG^ht a fleet 
into the Bay of Gibraltar, with an army to fight against the 
Suevi, did not omit, after his victory was secured, to proceed 
to Africa to the aid of the rebellious Boniface, Count of Africa, 
who was then fiirhtino; the General of Placidia, the Roman 
Empress, and his former mistress, as regent for Valentinian 
III. From her the united chiefs, Genseric and Boniface, 
extorted peace of a hollow sort, with the promise of tribute, so 
that the conquests of Genseric in Africa remained nominally 
Roman, but were really Vandalic. The Western Goths, or 
V^isigoths — forgetful of their common cause and neighbouring 
origin — who had settled in Spain, now cast eyes of desire upon 
the inheritance of the Vandals in Andalusia, and under the 
command of their king, Rechilus, attacked the province with 
disastrous eflxxt, defeated the ^w^^x/'-Romans, and united the 
country with their own. 

Under Liberius, Justinian led an army Into Spain, and took 
possession of all the maritime towns on the Mediterranean 
coast, from Gibraltar to Valencia. These submitted gladly, 
says the historian, in order to deliver themselves from the 
tyranny of Agila the Visigoth, a degraded wretch, and a 
heretic, whom Liberius defeated, and his own subjects slew. 
Until A.D. 614, this part of the country remained thus in the 
hands of the later Romans ; then King Sisebut attacked 
them, and was so far successful that the coast reverted to the 
Visigothic power in Spain. 

I \ 




How thcv dealt with each other, and what was the mutual 
faith of the^c tribes, let Cjibboii tell, as he condensed the 
tale. After the death ^i Gonderic, the \'andah ''acquired 
for a king his bastard brother, the terrible (jenserlc, a name 
which, in the destruction of the Ronian Empire, has deserved 
an equal rank with the names K^i Alaric and Attila. The 
King of the Vandals is described to have been of middle 
stature, with a lameness of one leg, which he contracted by 
an accidental fall from his horse. His slow and cautious 
speech seldom declared the deep purposes of his soul ; he 
disdained to imitate the luxury of the vanquished ; but he 
indulged the sterner passions of anger and revenge. The 
ambition of Genseric was without bounds, and without 
scruples ; and the warrior could dextrously employ the dark 
engines of policy to select the allies who could be useful to 
his purpose, or to scatter among his enemies the seeds of 
hatred and contention. Almost at the moment of his depar- 
ture (to join Boniface) he was informed that Hunneric, King 
of the Suevi, had presumed to ravage the Spanish territories, 
which he was resolved to abandon. Impatient of the insult, 
Genseric pursued the hasty retreat of the Suevi as far as 
Merida (the ancient Emerita), precipitated the king and his 
army into the river Anas, and calmly returned to the seashore 
to embark his victorious troops. The vessels which trans- 
ported the Vandals over the Straits of Gibraltar, a channel of 
only twelve miles in breadth, were furnished by the Spaniards, 
who anxiously wished their departure, and by the African 
General (Boniface) who had implored their formidable assis- 
tance." With him were the Alani, whom the Vandals had 
overcome in 41 9 A. d. Count Boniface repented, when it was too 
late, of the treachery of which he had been guilty. The Vandals 
settled in Africa, as our list of their kings shows, and the gates 




of Calpc and Abyla had again opened to permit the passage 
of a conquert)r. We need not follow the dreadful road of 
Genseric and his tribes. 

The capital of the Vislgothic power was originally at Tou- 
louse. There the ambassador of /E.tius found Theodoric I., 
when he invoked aid to repulse Attila in besieging Orleans ; 
he obtained it, and the Romans marched once more with the 
Goths, this time against the Huns. Thorismond and Theo- 
doric, the successors in power to their father, were with him 
in this march, and at the tremendous day of Chalons, which 
commemorated the delivery of the West from the new horde 
of barbarians. Here they fought against the Ostrogoths, their 
kindred tribe, as well as against the Huns, Burgundians, 
Eranks, and Thuringians. I'heodoric I. was slain on that 
memorable day, and Thorismond was the champion of the 
shattered Roman civilisation in the west. Theodoric 
murdered Thorismond, the champion, and reigned in his 
stead. It was he who backed Avitus on the Imperial throne. 
The description given by Sidonius, and quoted by Gibbon, of 
the court and mode of living at Toulouse is elaborate, even to 
the after-dinner nap of this powerful monarch, the greatest 
man in all the west, and is one of the most curious accounts 
of a royal household that we know ; in referring to the 
fifth century it is doubly interesting through its being unique. 
Euric assassinated Theodoric II., and defeated the Suevi. 
This Euric was one of the most eminent and successful men 
of his age and race, he was the antagonist of Clovis, his 
children reigned a short time after his death ; but the superior 
fortunes of the PVank compelled a dissolution of the Visigothic 
power in Gaul, so that in the reign of Thiodes (531 — 548) 
the authority of their king was concentrated in Spain, and the 
Suevi finally overcome. Here they remained, almost shut 



out from the world by the same means which had nearly 
isolated the inhabitants of the same land in the Roman time — 
means which are effectual to this day; these means of isolation 
are the Pyrenees and the sea. It has been customary to style 
the period which now follows as the Dark Age of Spain ; it 
appears, however, more just to call it the Silent Age. The 
reli^nous history of the country has been sketched by Gibbon 
with his usual power, no less than with his common mocking 
spirit. It must not be imagined that the Ronian Kn^pire had 
entirely lost hold of the Peninsula ; on the contrar}', it was not 
until fir in the seventh century that parts of the eastern and 
western coasts departed from the Imperial rule ot the Lastera 
Empire. Thiodes, the Visigothic king, directed an expedi- 
tion against Ceuta, and used the Bay of CVibraltar for its im- 
memorial purpose of invasion. He was repulsed, however, by 
a sally which, as it took place on a Sunday, and found hi^ 
soldiers engaged in prayer, points to the strict Christ'uini:y of the 
Visigoths. I'he king himself barely escaped with his life. 



T^T'^rrTVTrySE have but to give a slight sketch of the Visl- 
'^^^^^^v'^iy^ gothic monarchs, such as might have been 
*J^^Jhv/& presented to the astonished eyes of Roderic, 

last of the line, when he had the wonderful 
vision of them, passing one by one, in the Vault of Destiny, to 
the recounting o( which we hasten. To do this in a con- 
nected manner we must return to Euric, who murdered 
his brother, Thcodoric II., and conquered a large portion 
of Spain, which had not already fallen into the hands of his 
people, and became almost sole monarch of the Peninsula. 
He extended, it is alleged, his acquisitions as far as Aries and 
Marseilles, defeated Riothamar, the chief ot the Bretons, 
but was himself checked in Auvergne by Ecdicius in 470, yet 
in four years after contrived to obtain the cession of that 
province; and, lastly, by way of extending the power of his 
kino-dom, obtained from Odoacer a relinquishment of all the 
countries south-west of the Alps. He died in 485, leaving his 
kinc^dom extending; from Gibraltar to the Loire and Rhone. 
He was succeeded by Alaric II., his son, who seems to have 
been of a very peaceful disposition, and was a good lawgiver. 
Fle married Theudigotha, daughter of the Ostrogoth, Theodoric 
the Great, but his territories tempting the ambition of Clovis, 
he was attacked by that Prankish leader, defeated, and slain in 
battle at Vouirle, near Poitiers. At Narbonne, where the 
defeated Visigoths halted, they quarrelled about a new king. 


whether Giselric, the elder, but illegitimate, or Amalaric, the 
le<ntimatc son of Alaric II., should succeed him. The ques- 
lion was settled by the choice of both, and they were 
proclaimed joint kings of the Visigoths, with Thiodes, or 
Theudes, as their guardian, a post which had been origmally 
given to him by the father of the princes. Another authority 
says that Giselric was elected, that Thcodoric the Great 
sent an Italian army to assert the rights of Amalaric, and that 
Thiodes was commander of this host, who defeated Giselric, 
compelled him to return to Africa, and become guardian of the 
riii;htful heir. This office he performed well, and Amalaric, 
when he became of age to rule, was proclaimed King of the 
Visii^oths. To make himself secure, he married Clotilda, 
daughter of Clovis,but treated her very badly. In revenge for 
this, her brother Childebcrt, King of Paris, attacked Amalaric, 
and a tremendous battle between the Franks and the Visigoths 
took place in Catalonia. The latter were beaten, and Amalaric, 
who fled, was killed. In strict speech we should say 
that the Visigothic kingdom ceased with this event, for 
Thiodes, who was elected to succeed, was, as we said 
above, an Ostrogoth. The people remained distinct, how- 
ever, from the Ostrogoths ; hence it would be mere pedantry 
to say that the Visigothic kingdom expired with Amalaric. It 
was Thiodes who besieged the fortress of Ceuta ; he was 
slain at Barcelona in 548. Agila succeeded, and reigned 
until 554, when Athanagild, a military leader, revolted against 
this ruler, who is described as a monster, obtained aid from 
Justinian, defeated and killed Agila near Seville. Athana- 
gild tried to get rid of his quasi-Ronvdn allies, but failed to 
do so, and his kingdom was much crippled in consequence 
of their usurpation. I'his king is interesting to all readers 
vn account of the histories of his two daughters, Galeswintha 




1' . 




the Fair, and Brunehault the Proud. The former married 
Chilperic I., King of Soissons ; the latter Siegbert, King of 
Metz, sons of Chlotairc, and grandsons of Clovis. Frede- 
gonda the Furious, concubine of Chilperic, hunted Gales- 
wintha to death, and invoked the implacable hate of her 
sister, Brunehault, who roused up Siegbert of Aletz 
(Austrasia) against Chilperic, his brother; the means of this 
horrible business were frequent fraticide, murder, fire, perjury, 
and ruthlessness of the most frightful kinds. Brunehault was 
tied to the heels of a wild horse, and Fredegonda, the worst of 
bad women, to whom, according to the report of her enemies, 
for that is all we have. Lady Macbeth was a lamb, died queen 
and in peace some years before the death of Brunehault. 
Liuva I. succeeded Athanagild, and associated with himself 
Leovigild, his brother, who reigned alone until 586. Of 
this monarch and his family. Gibbon gives us this strongly 
characteristic account : 

" Spain was restored to the Catholic Church (the country had 
been Arian) by the example of a royal martyr, who, in our 
calmer reason, we may style an ungrateful rebel. Leovigild, 
the Gothic monarch of Spain, deserved the respect of his 
enemies and the love of his subjects. The Catholics enjoyed 
a free toleration, and his Arian synods attempted, without 
much success, to reconcile their scruples by abolishing the 
unpopular rite of a second baptism. His eldest son, Her- 
menegild, who was invested by his father with the royal 
diadem and the fair principality of Baetica (Andalusia), entreated 
an honourable and orthodox alliance with a Merovingian 
princess, the daughter of Siegbert, King of Austrasia (Metz), 
and of the famous Brunehault. 'Fhe beauteous Ingundis, who 
was not more than thirteen years of age, was received, beloved, 
and persecuted in the Arian court of Toledo ; and her religious 



constancy was alternately assaulted by the blandishments aiul 
violence of Goiswintha, the Gothic queen, who abused the 
double claim of maternal authority. -t- Incensed bv her resis- 
tance, Goiswintha seized the Catholic princess by her long hair, 
inhumanly dashed her against the ground, kicked her until she 
was covered with blood, and at last gave orders that she should 
be stripped and thrown into a basin or fish-pond. Love and 
honour micrht excite Hermeneirild to resent this injurious treat- 
ment of his bride; and he was gradually persuaded that 
Inf^undis suffered for the cause of Divine truth. Her tender 
complaint, and the weighty arguments of Leander, Archbishop 
of Seville, accomplished his conversion ; and the heir ot the 
Gothic monarchy was initiated in the Nicene faith by the 
solemn rites of confirmation. The rash youth, inflamed by 
zeal, and perhaps by ambition, was tempted to violate the 
duties of a son and a subject ; and the Catholics of Spain, 
although they could not complain of persecution, applauded 
his pious rebellion against an heretical tather. The civil war 
was protracted by the long and obstinate sieges of Alerida, 
Cordova, and Seville, which had strenuously espoused the 
party of Hermenegild. He invited the orthodox barbarians, 
the Suevi and the Franks, to the destruction of his native 
land ; he solicited the dangerous aid of the Romans, who 
possessed Africa ; and his holy ambassador, the Archbishop 
Leander, effectively negotiated in person with the Byzantine 
court. But the hopes of the Catholics were crushed by the 
active strategy of a monarch who commanded the troops 
and treasures of Spain ; and the guilty Hermenegild, after his 

* Goiswintha successively married two kings of the Visigoths : Athanaglld, to 
whom she bore Brunehault, the mother of Ingundis ; and Lcovigild, whose two sons, 
Hermenegild and Recared, were the Issue of a former marriage. 




vain attempt to resist or to escape, was compelled to surrender 
himself into the hands of an incensed father. Leovio-ild was 
still mindful of that sacred character ; and the rebel, despoiled 
of the regal ornaments, was still permitted, in a decent exile, 
to profess the Catholic religion. His repeated and unsuc- 
cessful treasons at length provoked the indignation of the 
Gothic king, and the sentence of death, which he pronounced 
with apparent reluctance, was pri\'ately executed in the Tower 
at Seville. The inflexible constancy with which he refused to 
accept the Arian communion as the price of his safety, may 
excuse the honours which have been paid to the memory of 
St. Hermenegild. His wife ar.d infant son were detained by 
the Romans in ignominious captivity ; and this domestic mis- 
fortune tarnished the glories of Leovigild, and embittered the 
last moments of his life. His son and successor, Recared, the 
first Catholic King of Spain, had imbibed the faith of his 
unfortunate brother, which he supported with more prudence 
and success. Listead of revolting against his father, Recared 
patiently expected the hour of his death. Listead of con- 
demning his memory, he piously supposed that the dying 
monarch had abjured the errors of Arianism, and recommended 
the conversion of the Gothic nation." 

In this Recared succeeded, and the Visigothic people became 
proper Catholics. This monarch had been to war with 
Gonthran, King of Burgundy, and defeated him at Car- 
cassonne in 588. He died in 601. Liuva H. succeeded 
Recared L, and was himself assassinated by Witteric, who 
usurped the throne in 603, and was slain in 610. Gundemar, 
who followed, reigned but two years. Sisebut, the next king, 
was a vigorous ruler. He persecuted the Jews, compelled 
ninety thousand of them to be baptised, tortured those who would 
not accept the rite, and confiscated their fortunes. Ceuta, a 





point SO Important in the progress of the flux and reflux of 
conquest between Europe and Africa, was captured by the 
Visigoths under this king, in the year 616 A.D., and remained, 
a tatal capture, in their possession until rather less than a 
century had elapsed, when Count Julian abandoned it t) the 
Moors in 710. Recared II. inherited the throne from his 
father, Siscbut, and died in seven months afterwards (620). 
Suintilla was elected king, for it must be observed that the 
VislL2;othic monarchy in Spain was more strictly elective than 
that of the Franks or the Ostro2;oths. He contrived to expel 
the Romans from the few remaining places they commanded 
in the country (621-626), and died in 631. Sisenand followed, 
and reigned five years. Chintilla was recognised king in 6j6, 
by the Council of Toledo, for it is noteworthy that the influence 
of the Church in this kingdom was almost predominant. He 
died in 640. Tulga succeeded, and was deposed in 641. 
Chintasvinthus, who endeavoured to encourao^e learning in 
Spain, next reigned, reformed the code of laws to a truer 
likeness of the Roman system, and died in 653. The work of 
lenal reformation was continued bv the son of Chintasvinthus, 
who was named Recesvinthus, a ruler who extended the 
bounds of his kingdom by the conquest of the Basque provinces, 
which had defied the Romans themselves. His reign was 
brief, for it ended in 672. The eight gold crowns or coronets 
which are now in the Hotel de Cluny, Paris, were found at a 
place called La Fuente da Guarrazar, in the environs ot 
Toledo. These extraordinarv treasures were dedicated b\ 
the Visigothic prince, and are aniong the few relics of three 
centuries of rule in Spain. The words ^' Recesvinthus 
Rex Offert" are suspended in gold letters and by gold 
chains from the margin of the larger crown. Hanging from 
the centre is a splendidly-jewelled cross. They are supposed 
to have been dedicated by the king, Recesvinthus, his queen, 



and the royal officers, to the honour of the Virgin, in a chapel 
called Notre Dame des Cormiers. Here they had been buried, 
it is presumed, in order to conceal them from the Aloors when 
they entered Toledo in 712. Other crowns have been dis- 
covered in the same neighbourhood, and are now at Aladrid. 
Strange, that of Recesvinthus the very name should have been 
almost forgotten when these votive treasures of his turned up, 
after they had beeji in their hiding-place nearly twelve hundred 
years (712-1858) ! ^' 

Recesvinthus died in 672, little dreaming how soon the 
inheritance of his people was to pass away. Then came 
Wamba, who was notorious in Gascony and other parts of 
the South of France. His fate was singular, and he was a very 
able warrior, for he beat the seafaring Saracens in a great 
naval battle, as they were attempting to effect a landing in 
Spain in 675. Wamba had been the victim of an attempt 
at poisoning, and, in the course of the illness which followed, 
vowed to adopt the monastic robe and rules ; in fact he was 
invested with this robe, and on recovering was pronounced 
incapable of reigning. The judges were the clergy, and he 
submitted to their decision. The matter is very obscure, and 
appears to refer to a conspiracy and forced deposition; but is 
interesting}: as shcnvinii; the leadinir influence in the Visigothic 
kingdom to have been that of men of religion. This is a 
characteristic which is marked in the whole of the Christian 
history of the Visigoths, as well as in that of their successors 
of modern date. To the deposed Wamba Ervigius succeeded 
and rei2;ned until 687. After Ervigius came Egica, who had 

* See a very curious note by Gayangos on Al-makkari, about the royal diadems 
that were found by Taric in the Cathedral at Toledo. "25 gold crowns, one for each 
of t!ie Gothic monarchs who had reigned over Andalus (Spain), it being a custom of 
tlut nation that each of their kings should deposit in that sacred place a gold diadem, 
having his name, figure and condition, the number of children he had, the length of 
his life and that of his reign, engraved upon it. " 




married the daughter of his predecessor. He punished the 
conspirators ao^ainst Wanih.i, reiLiiicd a lonj tiine, and died 
in 701. Witiza succeeded Ervigius, and by one side at least 
was depicted in the most odious colours. 

The terrible event, towards which our course has been 
leadincT, is now at hand. Witiza was the thirty-second of the 
Visigothic kings of Spain, and the three hundred years of their 
tenancy had almost expired. They came to rule while 
Auiiustin was writinir 'T)eCivitatc Dei" -/.t\ in the year of the 
revolt of Jovinus, at Mctz, three years after the death of 
Arcadius — and they ceased to rule two years after Ofla, King 
of Essex, abdicated and went to Rome as a monk, i.e. in the 
year of the death of Justiniaii IE, Emperor of the East, 
while England was yet a heptarchy, and in the hrst year ot 
Ceolred, Kinii of Mercia. 'Eh.c true historv of the portentous 
event in question appears to be that which we shall give in 
the first case, reserving the romantic, or rather the question- 
able aspect of the subject for after consideration. Roderic, 
son of Theodofred, Count of Cordova, was appointed by 
Witiza to be General of the Spanish armies. He was unable 
to resist the temptation of power, and rebelled against his 
sovereign in the year 710, and, by the aid of the military, 
deposed him, confined him in l\)ledo, and deprived his sons 
of the succession to the throne.* " Their resentment was 
the more danirerous, as it was varnished with the dissimulation 
of courts ; their followers were excited by the remembrance of 
favours and the promise of a revolution ; and their uncle 
Oppas, Archbishop of Toledo and Seville, was the first person 
in the Church, and the second in the State." So, in the 
ornate style of Gibbon, is the mainspring of the disastrous 
event revealed. In plainer language, the more modern con- 






elusions of later students are thus condensed by the admirable 
biographer of Roderic, in the '*' English Cyclop.-edia of 
Biography": '^ Eor some time after his usurpation, Roderic 
had to contend against the sons and partisans of the dethroned 
monarch, who had taken refuge in the northern provinces of 
Spain. At last the sons of Witiza, perceiving their inability 
to cope with the forces of the usurper, crossed over to Africa, 
where thev were kindly received by Ilyan (the Count Don 
Julian, of the Spanish Chronicle), Lord of Ceuta and Tangiers, 
and a friend of Witiza, who offered, if assisted by the Arabs, 
whose tributary he was,* to restore the princes to the 
dominions of their fither. Having communicated his project 
to iMuza Ibn Nosseyr, then governor in Africa for the Caliphs 
of Damascus, that general, who had long wished to carry his 
arms into Spain, gladly embraced the opportunity offered to 
him, and promised his powerful assistance. By his orders, 
Tarif Abu Zarah, with four hundred Berbers, landed at 
'Eartessus (?) (since called I'arifli, in commemoration of this 
event) ; and, after ravaging the adjoining country, returned to 
Africa, laden with plunder and captives. This happened in 
Ramadan, a.h. 91 (Sept. 710 A.D.). The success of this 
enterprise filled the Arabian Emir with joy, and a second and 
more formidable expedition was, the ensuing year, directed 
against the shores of Spain. On I'hursday, the eighth of Rejeb, 
A.H. 92 (answering to the 30th April, A.D. 711), Taric Ibn 
Zeyad, a freedman of Muza Ibn Nosseyr, landed with eight 
thousand men at the foot of the Rock of Calpe, to which he 
gave his own name, ^ Cjebal 'Earic ' (the mountain of Taric), 
since corrupted into Gibraltar." Here we will leave, for the 
present, this condensed account of modern conclusions. 

• Gibbon's Decline and Fall cft/.e EmpUc, c. 51. Rudcik appears to have 
been general of the cavalry of Wit'u.i. 

* ihis statement appears erroneous, for Ceuta was then in the hands of the 
Spaniards, and had been so since the year 616 a.i\ Julian was the brother-in-law of 




0:^j::^^HE course of the descent of the Spanish crown of 
^\^fP the Visigoths until it rented for a brief while uptMi 

-3) the head of Roderic, is told thus. The account 

ff^^dLr^.a involves so much uf the early career of this king, 

that we prefer to give it in this form and place to adopting 
another mode of treatment. Recesvinthus had no children •, 
his brothers were not thoui^ht ht to inherit the throne ; and 
accordin2;ly — it might be on account of their age or incapability 

thev were set aside. The nobles thereupon chose Wamba, 

who had been a captain of the guard to Recesvinthus. He 
reio-ned but a short time, and was, it is said, poisoned by Krvi- 
gius ; to whom succeeded, as we have said elsewhere, Egica , 
who died in a.d. 701, and was followed by his son Witiza, a 
disorderly and infamous prince, who was specially obnoxious 
to the Visigothic churchmen; his crimes, according to 
Mariana, were those of promoting a law whereby the Pope was 
disowned, and permission granted to the clergy to marry. 
An ecclesiastical or Roman party was soon set up against this 
audacious innovator,— a party which turned to the descendants 
of Kino- Chintasvinthus, in order to find a royal rival to 

These descendants w^ere two sons, brothers of Recesvinthus, 
Theodofred and Favila, the Dukes of Cordova and Canta- 
bria (Biscay). I'he latter was c.iptain of the guard to Egica. 
Witiza, in his vouth, as it is alleired, on account of his desire 



for the wife of this duke, slew him with a club. Pelayas, son 
of Favila, who seems to have been likewise an officer in the 
kinc^'s service, hearing of his father's death, retired to Canta- 
bria; and Count Julian, who had married the sister of Witiza, 
succeeded him in military command. When Witiza became 
king, he, having conceived a great hatred— we are not told why 
—for ]\dayas and his uncle l^heodofred, put out the eyes of 
the latter, who w^as father to the Roderic with whom the Visi- 
(j;()thic line of kings ended. Roderic and Pelayas escaped the 
wrath of Witiza. This king must— if we are to believe the 
stori.s of the Spanish writers— have seemed, in the minds of men 
then living, an extraordinary fool ; for he threw down the walls 
of the fortresses in his country, pretending that this would 
secure peace, to which end he also took away the weapons of 
the people \ tw^o incredible tales, the narration of which is 
accounted for by the after remark of the old writer, that Witiza 
persecuted Gunderic, Archbishop of Toledo, and the priests 
of his party, who refused to join the king. After a reign 
of ten years Witiza died in peace— a phenomenon of note 
in those centuries — at Toledo (a.d. 711). Yet even in 
respect to the truth of this assertion we are not assured ; for it 
is possible, we are told, that the hereditary vengeance of 
Roderic might have contrived this event without reference to 
the ordinary course of nature. 

I'he sons of Witiza formed, as w^e stated elsewhere, nuclei 
of a party against Roderic, with whom centred the hopes of 
another party in the state. In fact there had been two parties 
with distinct representatives all along, who, so to say, ran side 
by side in this matter ; one of them received the support of the 
clerey, who wrote the histories, and gave the colour of their 
feelings to the facts they w^ere compelled to relate. The 
briefest possible history of the descent of these parties is thus 




given. Chintasvinthus, by his wife Riesberga, left Reces- 
vinthus — who succeeded him on tlic throne — Thcodofred 
(father of Rodcricj, P'avila, and a daughter, whose name is 
unknown. Recesvinthus died without issue, and, the 
monarchy being electiv^e, not hereditary, A\ ainba was chosen 
to succeed him, to the exclusion of T'heodofred, whose pre- 
tensions, however, were revived by his son, Roderic. The 
unknown dauirhter married Ardebastus, a Cireek of couracrc 
and ability ; a soldier who received the hand of the princess as 
his reward. Their child was Ervigius, who deposed W'amba. 
This Ervigius married Liiibigotona, and the pair had a daughter 
named Cixilona, who married Egica, the kinsman of W'amba ; 
by means of which union it was intended to stanch the 
blood-feud of the rivals. Of this marriage no such remedy 
or help came, as might have been expected. The fruit of the 
union were Witiza, the king ; Oppas, Archbishoji of Seville ; 
and a daughter, who married Count Julian. W'itiza's two 
sons were Eba and Sicabutus. Theodofred, the seconil 
son of Chintasvinthus, by his wife, Ricilona, had Roderic, 
the last of the Visigoths. Eavila, the third son of Chintas- 
vinthus, had Pelayas, the famous champion of the Christians, 
from whom arose the new hopes of their power in Spain. 
This Pelayas, or Pelagius, as he is sometimes styled, was 
of character utterly the reverse to hi.s cousin Roderic, ^^ the 
last of the Goths," whose queen's name was, bv the way, 
Egilona. Pelayas was captain of the guard to Roderic, 
who, whatever his descent might have been, certainlv had 
sense enough to choose brave and good men for his com- 

To Pelayas himself fame has awarded such honour as 
none have better expressed than Byron — ('' Childe Harold," 
Canto I. XXXV. and xxxvi.): 

J B S S iMa 





** oh, lovely Spain ! rcnowneJ, romantic land ! 
Where is that standard which Pelagio bore, 
When Cava's traitor sire first called the band 

That dyed thy mountain streams with Gothic gore ? 

** Where are those bloody banners which of yore 
Wav'd o'er thy sons, victorious to the gale. 
And drove, at last, the spoilers to their shore ^ 

Red gleamed the cross, and waned the crescent pale, 
While Afric's echoes thrilled with Moorish matrons' wail." 

Byron's ideas of the Moors having been '' spoilers" of the 
Peninsula, are to be understood according to his knowledge of 
the subject, which was '' mighty small," as Sancho Panza 
used to say. It was Byron's object to associate in intamy the 
French invaders of Spain from the north, and of his own time, 
with the Moors who entered the country from the south, and 
many ages before. Here is a case of poetical injustice. 

Mariana, the Spanish historian, tells us, in few words, the 
secret of the successful invasion oi' his country by the Arabs. 
The kingdom was torn to pieces by the power of the con- 
tendiii'^ fanulies ; their diverse interests misled them in respect 
to all public measures ; the people were effeminate ; military 
discipline was neglected or forgotten ; the people were no 
lon^'cr what they had been in the earlier days of the Visigothic 
race in the Peninsula, but abandoned to ''eating, drinking, and 
lewdness." If any man could be competent to set this 
countrv on the safe road, it seemed at first to be Roderic, who 
was popular, brave, hardy, and handsome. Before him the 
sons of Witiza seemed to have no choice ; it is alleged that 
thcv iled to Mauritania to save their lives from his cruelty ; 
but it is clear that in this matter the old hatred of party was 
breaking out again ; we must, accordingly, take these accounts 
with some hesitation. It is certain that Roderic quieted the 
commotions of the realm soon after his accession \ in course oi 



this proceeding it is most likely that the nuclei of the opposing 
factions found it wise to leave Spain. 

To the good qualities we have already ascribed to Roderic 
must be added, if some historians are to be believed, many 
that are not less excellent. He had a noble greatness of soul, 
generosity of temper; he was witty, capable of carrying on 
difficult enterprises by means of his powers of application, 
affable, liberal, and a lover of merit. Strong of body, patient 
and tried in war, there seemed every hope for the realm over 
which this man, then in the prime of life, was called to rule. 
At first the hopes to which these qualities gave origin were 
brought to fruit ; the application and decision of Roderic 
cleared awav many of the disorders which were so injurious in 
the country. A terrible change soon followed these fair 
signs. Lust, drunkenness, and debauchery in feasting, were 
the causes of the ruin which came about. 

There is this much to be said for Roderic, that, as Gibbon 
carefullv points out, the VIsigothic monarchy was still elective, 
Roderic had evidently been elected bv^ means similar to those 
which had been effectual in the cases of so many of his 
predecessors — the means might have been murderous aiul 
rebellious. Gibbon's account, which now folKivv^, places, in 
his usually perspicuous mode, the matter before the reader. 
The great historian declares thus in section v. cap. 41 of the 
'^History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,'* 
after recounting the progress of Mohammedan conquests in 
Africa : 

'' In the progress of conquest from the north and the south, 
the Goths and the Saracens encountered each other on the 
confines of Europe and Africa. In the opinion ot the latter, 
the difference of reli^rion is a reasonable iiround of eniiut\- aiul 
warfare. As early as the time of (^thman, their piratical 





squadrons had ravaged the coasts of Andalusia ; nor had they 
forgotten the relief of Carthage by Gothic succours. In 
that age, as well as in the present, the kings of Spain were 
possessed of the fortress of Ceuta, one of the Columns of 
Hercules, which is divided by a narrow strait from the 
opposite pillar or point of Europe. A small portion of Mauri- 
tania was still wanting to the African conquest -, but Muza, 
in the pride of victory, was repulsed from the walls of Ceuta 
by the vigilance and courage of Count Julian, the general of 
the Goths. From his disappointment and perplexity, Muza 
was relieved by an unexpected message of the Christian chief, 
who offered his place, his person, and his sword, to the 
successors of Mahomet, and solicited the disgraceful honour 
of introducing their arms into the heart of Spain. If we 
inquire into the cause of his treachery, the Spaniards still 
repeat the popular story of his daughter Cava, a virgin, who 
was seduced, or ravaged, by his sovereign ; of a father who 
sacrificed his religion and country to the thirst of revenge. 
The passions of princes have often been licentious and 
destructive ; but this well-known tale, romantic in itself, is 
inditferently supported by external evidence, and the history of 
Spain will suir^est some motive more conirenial to the breast of 
a veteran statesman." 

(jibbon then proceeds with the account, which we transcribed 
above, and illustrated from the Spanish histories, of the efforts 
of the sons of Witiza, and continues : '' It is probable that 
Julian was involved in the disgrace of the unsuccessful faction,* 
that he had little to hope and much to fear from the new 
reign ; and that the imprudent king could not forget or forgive 

* The reader will have noted before (p. 56) that Julian was the brother-in-law of 
Witiza, and therefore the uncle of his sons. 






4 • 

I i| 


the injuries which Roderic and his family had sustained.* 
The merit and influence of the count rendered him a useful 
or formidable subject -, his estates were ample, his followers 
bold and numerous; and it too fatally shows that, by his 
Andalusian and Mauritanian commands, he held in his hands 
the keys of the Spanish monarchy. Too feeble, however, 
to meet his sovereign in arms, he sought the aid of a foreign 
power; and his rash invitation to the Moors and Arabs pro- 
duced the calamities of eight hundred ycars.f In his epistles, 
or in a personal interview, he revealed the wealth and naked- 
ness of his country, the weakness of an unpopular prince, the 
degeneracy of an effeminate people." 

Julian was a man of distinguished birth and vast possessions. 
He was governor, says Mariana, not only of Mauritania, but 
of a considerable part of Andalusia ; so he thus com- 
manded both sides of the Straits, and held the keys of the 
kincrdom in a wider sense than that which represents him as 
custodian of the fortress of Ccuta. Carteia, or its ruins, and 
Tarifa, or its site, were in his hands ; and with the adjoinmg 
province, Calpe, itself, then hut a barren, monkey-inhabiied 
rock, yet destined to become one of the most famous spots in 
the world's history : a destiny which was soon to begin to 
have effect. In the charge of Julian the sons ot Witiza 
found a refu^^e. In their political and reckless movements we 

* We have shown before (p. 5 5) that Witiza had put out the eyes of Theodofred, 
the father of Roderic, 

t As to the calamities in question here, it is hard to say where they are to be observed. 
The state of Spain under the Moors was infinitely belter in civilisation than under the 
Visigoths. The people were ten times more numerous, their arts better, their learning 
nobler. Their occupation of the country gave the very Gothic people and mixed races 
an opportunity of recovering public .virtues, which had been almost forgotten in luxury 
during the later part of their tenancy of Spain. (See Gibbon's own account, which 
follows, of the state of the Visigoths in the I'eninsula.) 




may find the cause of the Arabian invasion, with or without 
reference to Cava, Caba, or Florinda, as the daughter of the 
count is variously called. The political and personal hatreds 
of the families which derived from Chintasvinthus as their 
ancestor, and in whose name they contended with a common 
claim to the elective monarchy of Spain, needed little in the 
way of intensifying to promote reckless hate of the most 
furious kind. Julian invited the Arabs in the same manner 
and for the same purpose, also, as it happened, to the same 
effect, as the descendants of those invaders sought the aid of 
the Almoravides against their Moslem fellows in Spain, and 
brou(^ht about a new invasion from Africa (a.d. 1086) ; in 
turn, and in a like manner, these new African conquerors tell 
before their own successors, the Almohades (a.d. 1145). 
Civil war again split this powerful party, and they were 
expelled from Spain in 12J2, to be extinguished by the Merines 
in 127S. " Every kingdom divided against itself is brought 
to desolation; " so wrote the Evangelist. 

To resume, in the words of Gibbon, in detailing the con- 
dition of the X'isiiioths, and the effect of the invitation of 
Julian to Muza Ibn Nosseyr : ''The Goths were no 
Ion::, r the victorious barbaricUis who had humbled the pride ot 
Rome, despoiled the queen of nations, and penetrated from the 
Danube to the Atlantic Ocean. Secluded from the world by 
the Pyrenean mountains, the successors of Alaric had slumbered 
ni a long peace ; the walls of the cities were mouldered into 
dust ; the youth had abandoned the exercise of arms ; and the 
presumption of their ancient renown would expose them in a 
held of battle to the first assault of the invaders. The 
imibitious Saracen (Muza) was fired by the ease and impor- 
tance of the attempt which Julian urged ; but the execution 
was delayed until he had consulted the Commander of the 


j^ ^i,^-j»atf- .wny.mmtf-.imm^'^ -^■«y««!9fe=-- -■*■«■-' 

-^. .-^ ^ ~^^».m mm ''v m i' m > '* ' '" ' jf!^*^ i " ^. i ix. ' ■mwi w u i 










Faithful, and his messenger returned with the permission of 
WaHd to annex the unknown kiniidom of the West to the 
rehgion and throne of the Cahphs. In his residence of 
Tangier, Muza, with secrecy and caution, continued his 
correspondence and hastened his preparations. Rut the 
remorse of the conspirators was soothed by the fallacious 
assurance that he should content himself with the glory and 
spoil, without aspiring to establish the Moslems beyond the 
sea that separates Europe from Africa. Before Aluza would 
trust an army of the Faithful to the traitors and inhdels of a 
foreign land, he made a less danircrous trial of their stren'-^th 
and veracity. One hundred Arabs and four hundred Africans 
passed over, in four vessels, from l\mgier or Ceuta. The 
place of their descent on the opposite shore of the Strait is 
marked by the name of Tarif, their chief; and the date of this 
memorable event is fixed in the month of Ramadan, of the 
ninety-first year of the Hei^ira ; or the month of fulv, seven 
hundred and forty-eight years from the Spanish era of C.-csar, 
seven hundred and ten after the birth of Christ. From this 
first station they marched eighteen miles throuo;h a hillv 
country, to the castle and town of Julian, on which (it is still 
called Algezire) they bestowed the name of the Green Island, 
from a verdant cape that advances into the sea. Their hos- 
pitable entertainment, the Christians who joined their standard, 
their inroad into a fertile and unguarded province, the richness 
of their spoil, and the safety of their return, announced to their 
brethren the most favourable omens of victorv. In the 
ensuing spring five thousand veterans and volunteers were 
embarked, under the command of l^iric, a dauntless and 
skilful soldier, who surpassed the expectation of his chief ,+• 

* It will be observed that Gibbon makes the leader of the second expedition to be 
not the same as he who commanded the former experimental journey. 'I'his is correct- 
the most extraordinary confusion has appeared in writings on this subject. 

and the necessary transports were provided bv the industry of 
his too faithful ally. The Saracens landed at the Pillars or 
point of Europe. 'Fhe corrupt and familiar appellation of 
(jibraltar {Gihcl al Tar'ic) describes the mountain of Taric ; 
and the intrcnchments of his camp were the first outline of 
those fortifications which, in the hands of our countrvmen, 
have resisted the art and power of the House of Bourbon. 
The adjacent governor informed the court of 7\)ledo of the 
descent and progress of the Arabs ; and the defeat of his 
lieutenant, Edeco, who had been commanded to seize and 
bind the presumptuous strangers, admonished Roderic of the 
magnitude of the design. At the royal summons, the dukes 
and counf^, the bishops and nobles of the Gothic monarchy, 
assembled at the head of their followers; and the title of the 
King of the Romans, which is employed by an Arabian historian, 
may be occasioned by the close affinity of language, religion, 
and manners, between the nations of Spain. His army con- 
sisted of ninety or a hundred thousand men ; a formidable 
power, if their fidelity and discipline had been adequate to their 
numbers. The troops of Taric had been augmented to twelve 
thousand Saracens ; but the Christian malcontents were 
attracted by the influence of Julian, and a crowd of Africans 
most greedily tasted the temporal blessings of the Koran. In 
the neighbourhood of Cadiz, the town of Xeres has been 
illustrated by the encounter which determined the fate of the 
kingdom. 'Fhe stream of the Guadalete, which falls into the 
bay, divided the two camps, and marked the advancing ard 
retreating skirmishes of three successive and bloody days. On 
the fourth day the two armies joined a more serious and 
decisive issue \ but Alaric would have blushed at the sight of 
his unworthy successor sustaining on his head a diadem of 
pearls, encumbered with a flowing robe of gold and silken 
embroidery, and reclining on a litter or car of ivorv, and drawn 




by two white iiuilcs.* Notwithstanding the valour of the 
Saracens, they fainted under the weight of multitudes, and the 
plain of Xeres was overspread with sixteen thousand of their 
dead bodies. *^ My brethren," said Taric to his surviving 
companions, '' the enemy is before you, the sea is behmd -, 
whither would ye fly r Follow your General. I am resolved 
to lose mv life, or to trample on the prostrate King of the 
Romans." Besides the resource of despair, he confided in the 
secret correspondence and nocturnal interviews of Count 
Julian with the sons and the brother of VVitiza. The two 
princes and the Archbishop of Toledo occupied the most 
important po>t. Their well-timed defection broke the ranks 
of the Christians-, each warrior was prompied by fear or 
suspicion to consult his personal safety ; and the remains of 
the Ciothic enemv were scattered or destroyed in the flight and 
pursuit of the three following days. Amidst the general 
disorder, Roderic started from his car, and mounted Orelia, 
the fleetest of his horses ; but he escaped from a soldier's 
death to perish more ignobly in the waters of the B.etis or 
Guadalquivir. His diadem, his robes, and his courser, were 
found on the bank : but, as the body of the Gothic prince was 
lost in the waves, the pride and ignorance of the Caliph must 
have been gratifled by some meaner head, which was exposed 
in triumph before the palace of Damascus. '' And such," 
continues a valiant historian of the Arabs, '' is the fate of those 
kinc^s who withdrew themselves from a field of battle."! 

Count Julian had plunged so deep into guilt and infamy, that 
his only hope was in the ruin of his country. After the 

* In this description of Roderic the Arabians are unanimous. 

t As to the fate of King Roderic (see post) his death in battle is doubted ; like 
those of Harold II., Richard 111 , and the Portuguese king, Sebastian, who uas 
defeated by the Moors in 1578, and said to have been drowned in the river £lmahassen. 





Battle of Xeres he recommended the most effectual measures 
to the victorious Saracens. " The King of the Goths is 
slain ; their princes have fled before you ; the army is routed ; 
the nation is astonished. Secure with sufficient detachments 
the cities of Bretica ; but in person, and without delay, march 
to the royal city of Toledo, and allow not the distracted 
Christians either time or tranquillity for the election of a new 
monarch." Taric listened to this advice. A Roman captive 
and proselyte, who had been enfranchised by the Caliph him- 
self, assaulted Cordova with seven hundred horse ; he swam 
tlie river, surprised the town, and drove the Christians into the 
Cjreek Church, where they defended themsehes above three 
months. (Four hundred men so defended themselves until the 
last man died fighting. Sccpost.) Another detachment reduced 
the seacoast of H;etica, which in the last period of the Moorish 
power has comprised in a narrow space the populous king- 
dom of Cjranada. The march of Taric from the Baetis to the 
Tagus was directed through the Sierra Morena, that separates 
Andalusia and Castile, till he appeared in arms before the 
walls of Toledo. The most zealous of the Catholics had 
escaped with the relics of their saints ; and, if the gates were 
shut, it was only until the victor had subscribed a fair and 
reasonable capitulation. The voluntary exiles were allowed 
to depart with their effects ; seven churches were appro- 
priated to Christian worship ; the archbishop and his clergy 
were at liberty to exercise their functions, the monks to 
practise or neglect their penances ; and the Goths and 
Romans were left in civil and ciiminal cases to the subordinate 
jurisdiction of their own laws and magistrates." Taric pro- 
tected the Jews, to whose aid Gibbon would have us observe 
that the conqueror owed not a little. " From the royal seat 
of T^oledo, the Arabian leader spread his conquests to the 




north, .over the modern realms of Castile and Leon ; but it is 
needless to enumerate the cities that yielded to his approach, 
or agaii to describe the table of emerald, transported from the 
East by the Romans, acquired by the Goths among the 
spoils of Rome, and presented by the last to the throne of 
Damascus.* Beyond the Asturian mountains, the maritime 
town of Gijon was the term of the lieutenant of Muza, who 
had performed, with the speed of a traveller, his victorious 
march of seven hundred miles from the Rock of Gibraltar to 
the Bay of Biscay. The failure of land compelled him to 
retreat ; and he was recalled to Toledo, to excuse his pre- 
sumption of subduing a kingdom in the absence of his 
general. Spain, which, in a more savage and disorderly 
state, had resisted, for two hundred years, the arms of the 
Romans, was overrun in a few months by the Saracens ; and 
such was the eagerness of submission, that the governor of 
Cordova is recorded as the only chief who fell without condi- 
tions a prisoner into their hands." Gibbon goes on to detail 
the causes of this wonderful success. He then describes how 
it was checked, and where was to be laid the foundations of 
the since prodigious power of the Spaniard. '' Yet a spark of 
vital flame was still alive ; some invincible fugitives preferred 
a life of poverty and freedom in the Asturian valleys ; the 
hardy mountaineers repulsed the slaves of the Caliph ; and the 
sword of Pelagius has been transformed into the sceptre of the 
Catholic king." 

What came of that sword and its valiant employer has been 
hinted at before, and will appear by and by. Meanwhile, from 
the Arabian accounts of this momentous business, which 
Gibbon described with his somewhat monotonous felicitv, 

* of thi'^ precious emerald (green glass) table, sec post. 



there is much to be learned. We take, in the first case, from 
the " History of the Dominion of the Arabs in Spain," by the 
Spanish historian Conde, as translated by Mrs. Jonathan Foster, 
published by Mr. Bohn, 1854. This is by far too animated 
and picturesque to be omitted here. 

After describing the progress of the Arabs In North Africa, 
our new authority goes on thus: — "At this time certain 
Christians of Gesiras Al-andalus, which Is the peninsula of 
Spain, offended by their king, Roderic,* who was lord of all 
Spain, from the Narbonese Gaul even to Mauritania, or the 
land of Tanja, came to Muza Ibn Nosseyr, and incited him to 
pass into Spain, which is separated from Africa by a strait of 
the sea called Alzacane or the Narrow Waters. They repre- 
sented to him that the undertaking would be free from danger, 
easy of execution, and offered to aid him therein with all their 
forces ; such was the immoderate desire for vengeance by 
which these men were moved." Accordingly, and not 
desiring to risk his soldiers in a possible trap, Muza made 
inquiries. " We find related on this point that one of the 
principal Christians of Tanja informed him, with much truth 
and accuracy, of all that he required to know on the subject — 
made known to him the state of the people, the injudicious 
government of King Roderic, his defective mode of administering 
justice, and the fact that, for these causes, he was but little 
respected by the nation he ruled, by whom he was in effect 
considered as the wrongful usurper of the crown of the 

* "The affront here," says Conde, "alluded to, is without doubt that caused by the 
amours of the king, Dun Roderic, with the daughter of Count Julian, whom certain 
writers call the Caba, as we find related in the Chronicon General, written by order 
of King Alfonso the Wise The names of * Caba,' of her waiting-maid 'AHfa,' and 
of all who appear in the account, prove that the whole story was but a Moorish fiction 
founded on tiie legends and ballads current among the Christians and Moors." 


I I I 


» 1 

1 ! 



conde's account. 





Goths. '* Spain was described to the Arab chieftain in the 
most tempting terms ; indeed, Strabo's account is not so 
glowing as that which was presented to Muza Ibn Nosseyr. 
'^This enumeration (of its merits) they completed bv citing the 
various cities in which remained monuments of the ancient 
kin^^s and of those lonians whose wisdom and knowledge had 
ever been acknowledged by the whole world, relics of then- 
works being yet amply existent in Spain, as these men did not 
fail to affirm. They instanced the great statue o( Hercules m 
Gezira of Cadiz (r), and the idol of Gallicia, with the vast ruins 
of Merida and Tarragona, of which the like have never been 
seen in any other region." Muza obtained the Caliph's per- 
mission to ''bear into Spain the knowledge of Ciod and 
Alcoranic law." l^his permission was granted, and Aluza 
commissioned Taric ben Zeyad,->^ ''a captain oi great renown," 
to make such a reconnaisance as has been before referred to. 
The second vovage was accordingly undertaken upon the 
success of the first, and this time with prodigious increase ot 
force, for ''there was not an Arab who did not desu'e to take 
part in this expedition, which set sail when all had been tully 
prepared. Crossing the strait without accident, Tanc dis- 
embarked at Gezira Alhadra, or the Green Island, the 
situation of which favoured the landing of the troops.t The 
Christians did, indeed, opp^)se some resistance to the debarka- 
tion, but were quickly beaten, and retired in terror and dismay. 
Taric now fortihed himself with his people on a hill at the 
extremity of Gezira Alhadra, which, from that time, and in 
his honour, was called Gebal Taric, or the Mount of Taric ; 

* This is one of Condc's mistakes. 

t At this time there were two small islands near the shore and opposite the present 
city of Algeciras, whose verdant colour obtained for them the name of the Gret-n Isles. 
They are now almost entirely covered by the sea. '1 he smaller, of which a portion 
siili remains, is called the Isle of Doves i^Us Palomji)-Condt {}). 

but it is also called the Mount of Victory, or the Portal or 
Entrance,* seeing that from that point the way was happily 
opened to our conquest of Spain. This arrival took place on 
a Tuesday ,t the fifth day of the moon of Regib, in the yer.r 92 ; 
and Xerif Edris affirms that Taric burnt his ships to deprive 
his troops of all hopes of flight. 

The passage from the (keen Island to the main land was at 
first defended by seventeen hundred Christians under the 
command of Tadmir (Theodoric), who was one of King 
Rodericks most distinguished knights, and with these forces the 
Arab troops had some few skirmishes during the first three 
days i but after that time, the Spaniards, having been more 
than once vanquished and put to flight, no longer dared to 
present themselves before the Moslemah. We find it related 
that Tadmir then wrote to King Rodcric, demanding succour, 
and saying, ''My lord, there have come fierce adventurers 
from parts of Africa. Whether they have dropped from 
heaven, or sprung up through the earth, 1 know not, having 
found them suddenly before me, and encountered them on my 
path. I resisted them with all my power, and did my utmost 
to maintain the passage, but have been compelled to yield to 
their numbers and the impetuosity of their attack ; wherefore 
they have finally encamped on our soil, in despite of my efforts. 
And now, my lord, since the matter is thus, I entreat you to 
succour us with all speed, and with the largest force you can 
muster ; come yourself also, in person, for that will be better 
than all." The Cjothic forces were assembled from all 
quarters, and those of Taric, plundering and doing all possible 
harm, advanced even to the banks of the Bsetis, or Guadiana. 

* This seems to have been a much less ancient title than the former, and derived 
from the landing at Gibraltar of the great Arab conqueror, Abd-1-Mumcn ibn Ali. 
Y Another error. It was Thursday, as Gayangos discovered. 





We shall put the truth of this momentous invasion before 

the reader at once, in order that the confusion of many 

accounts may be obviated as soon as possible. The history of 

the attacks in question was as follows : — Julian was sent tirst 

as an invader of his own country, and after his tender to 

Muza ; this was done not only to sound the way for those who 

were to follow, but, by compelling him to commit himselt 

against Roderic, to prove his sincerity in inviting the Arabs to 

the destruction of his people ; he met with considerable success, 

both in making captives of his enemies, and in hnding friends. 

This took place some short time after Roderic's ascent to the 

throne, i.e. in November or December, 709, and was a mere 

incursion, distinguishable from many that had preceded it, from 

the coast of Africa to that of Spain, in respect to the creed ot 

its commander and his followers ; it was made in two vessels. 

Next came the attack of Tarif, which was effected in tour 

vessels, with four hundred foot and one hundred horsemen. 

This took place in August or September, 710, and the landing 

was made at Tarifa, as the former was upon the coast of 

Ab>-eciras. The confusion in these accounts is not only of 

modern date, but existed among the Arabs themselves, as 

Al-makkari points out when he writes that some historians 

have made two men out of Tarif Abu Zarah, by divorcing 

the two parts of his name. Tarif returned laden with spoil. 

Taric followed in the next vear with seven thousand men, 

'*■ chiefly slaves and Berbers, very few only being genuine 

Arabs," and with them Julian went again. The whole of 

this body of troops crossed the Straits in four vessels, which 

went to and fro until all were carried over. Good omens 

attended the passage of Taric, both in a dream and in an 

extraordinary prophecy which was related to him by an old 

woman of Algeciras, who averred that her husband, who was 



dead, and had been a diviner, had declared to her that Andalus 
would be conquered by a man having a prominent forehead, 
and a black mole covered with hair on his left shoulder. Both of 
these sio^ns were on Taric's bodv. When the landino- was 

CD y o 

made by Taric, he was met by the count of the district, 
Theodomir (Tadmir, whose name long stood for that of his 
province). Roderic was in the north of Spain at this time, 
and engaged in hghting against the Basques, near Pamplona. 
Aluza did not follow his lieutenants until the summer of a.d. 
712. Al-makkari says he ^'avoided Gibraltar, where no 
doubt a camp was." 






We shall put the truth of this momentous invasion before 
the reader at once, in order that the confusion of many 
accounts may be obviated as soon as possible. The history of 
the attacks in question was as ft)llows : — Julian was sent first 
as an invader of his own country, and after his tender to 
Muza ; this was done not only to sound the way for those who 
were to follow, but, by compelling him to commit himself 
against Roderic, to prove his sincerity in inviting the Arabs to 
the destruction of his people ; he met with considerable success, 
both in making captives of his enemies, and in finding friends. 
This took place some short time after Rodericks ascent to the 
throne, i.e. in November or December, 709, and was a mere 
incursion, distinguishable from many that had preceded it, from 
the coast of Africa to that of Spain, in respect to the creed of 
its commander and his followers ; it was made in two vessels. 
Next came the attack of Tarif, which was eflected in four 
vessels, with four hundred foot and one hundred horsemen. 
This took place in August or September, 710, and the landing 
was made at Tarifa, as the former v/as upon the coast of 
Alseciras. The confusion in these accounts is not only of 
modern date, but existed among the Arabs themselves, as 
Al-makkarl points out when he writes that some historians 
have made two men out of Tarif Abu Zarah, by divorcing 
the two parts of his name. Tarif returned laden with spoil. 
Taric followed in the next year with seven thousand men, 
'-'• chiefly slaves and Berbers, very few only being genuine 
Arabs," and with them Julian went again. Hie whole of 
this body of troops crossed the Straits in four vessels, which 
went to and fro until all were carried over. Good omens 
attended the passage of I'aric, both in a dream and in an 
extraordinary prophecy which was related to him by an old 
woman of Algeciras, who averred that her husband, who was 




dead, and had been a diviner, had declared to her that Andalus 
would be conquered by a man having a prominent forehead, 
and a black mole covered with hair on his left shoulder. Both of 
these siiins were on Taric's bodv. When the landins; was 
made by Taric, he was met by the count of the district, 
Theodomir (Tadmir, whose name long stood for that of his 
province). Roderic was in the north of Spain at this time, 
and engaged in fighting against the Basques, near Pamplona. 
Muza did not follow his lieutenants until the summer of a.d. 
712. Al-makkari says he ''avoided Gibraltar, where no 
doubt a camp was." 







EFORE wc recount, in the hold words of the 
Moorish historian, the death of Roderic, it will 
be well to refer to the picturesque legends with 
which his downfall has been adorned. These 
form the basis of several Spanish romances and of whole 
chronicles in Spanish and Moorish, besides modern poems in 
English, such as those of Scott, called '^The \'ision of Don 
Roderic," and Southey's '' Roderic, the Last of the (]oths." 
With allied subjects are Landor's ^' Count Julian," and other 
works of men who have been tempted by this dramatic 


Here is the story of Cava, briefly told to our hand by Tlowell 
in his " Letters from Spain." Count Julian was ambassador 
in Barbary from King Roderic, and his daughter, Cava, one of 
the maids of honour to Agilona, the (^leen of Spain. Cava 
was very beautiful, and attracted the passion of the king with 
overwhelming^ and irresistible force, so that, finding entreaties 
unavailing, Roderic employed violence upon the maiden, who, 
thus deflowered, and not knowing what to do, submitted tor a 
time to her disgrace, and, being assured that any messenger she 
mi^^ht send to Count Julian would be watched and his letters 
intercepted if they referred to her dishonour, wrote to her 
father in the manner of a parable, to this effect : '' that there 
was a fair green apple on the table, and the king's poinard fell 
upon it and cleft it in two." Julian receiving this secret 

message, comprehended its meaning, and, in order to revenge, 
obtained permission to return home on some ordinary business. 
ITis permission was granted by the king, whom the apparent 
submission, if not the pretended love, of Cava had completely 


Arrived In Spain, Julian continued the deceit, and made 
himself so agreeable to King Roderic, that the monarch con- 
cluded the wronn: done was unknown to or acquiesced in by 
his general and courtier. Julian became his most trusted 
ccnm^ellor and favourite, so that his advice was sought and 
taken in all things. Actuated by the most crafty and reckless 
spirit of revenge, the count advised that, as the kingdom was 
at peace with all its neighbours, there was no need to keep up 
the military and naval guardianship of the coast, which w^as as 
costly as it was alleged to be useless. This treacherous 
counsel being taken, and the kingdom being left defenceless 
before invaders, the traitor obtained leave to visit his friends 
in Tarragona, which was three hundred miles from Malaga, 
where the roval court was then held. After a little while, 
durhvT which Cava had been left with the king— and no 
hint of vengeance given by herself or her father, so that the 
kin<r's conscience was lulled to sleep with his fears — Julian 
pretended that his wife, Cava's mother, was dangerously ill, 
and that the daughter must visit her— it might be to 
receive her dying breath. Cava went, and the gate by which 
she departed from Malaga is called after her name in the 
district. Having thus extricated all his family from the king's 
power, Julian sailed over to Barbary, laid the secret of his 
country's weakness before the Moslemah, and thus brought 
about the change of authority which it underwent with 
surprising facility. 

The story of the Arabs, with regard to this message, is that. 








despite the watchfulness of Rodcric upon his victim, she con- 
trived to warn her father of what had befallen her, by sending 
him a rotten eirs; amons; the articles of a splendid gift, which 
she despatched to him at his castle of CVuta. No sooner had 
Julian received this, than divining what had happened, he 
crossed over to Andalus, and repaired to Toledo, althouL:;h 
doino- this was contrary to orders, because it was not yet the 
time fixed for his presentation, it being then the mnnth of 
January. When Roderic saw Ilyan (Julian) come so uii- 
expectedlv, he said to him '' O Ilyan ! what ails thee, to come 
to me at this season of the year, in the depth of winter:" and 
Ilyan replied, '^ I come to fetch my daughter, for her mother 
is very ill, and I fear her death, and she has expressed a strong 
desire to see our daughter, that she may console her m her 
last moments." Then Roderic observed, ^' Hast thou pro- 
cured us the hawks we told thee of?"* ''Yes, I have," 
answered Ilyan, '' I have found thee such as thou never 
sawest the like of in thy life ; I shall soon return with them, 
and bring them to thee, if God be pleased." Ilyan was all 
this time meanino- the Arabs. He then took his daughter, and 
returned without loss of time to the seat of his government. 
'' Upon this followed," says the Arabian writer, '' the nego- 
tiation with Muza Ibn Nosseyr " (Appendix to C^ayangos' 
translation of Al-makkari's '' History of the Mahommedan 
Dynasties in Spain"). 

The story which is thus variously told may or may not be 
true, but there is very little doubt that, with or without a 
Cava or a Julian, some invasion would have been attempted 
by the Arabs, who had just before that time reached the 
western extremity of their prodigious line of conquests from 

* Hawks of Mount Atlas, which neighboured to Julian's province, were famous for 
fierceness and strength before and long after the time which is in question. 


the heart of Arabia. Invasions of comparatively unim- 
portant character had been attempted unsuccessfully during 
several years before Taric landed at Gibraltar. The story 
of Cava is told in many ways ; that which we have 
given is commonly accepted, but it has also been dressed 
in even more romantic guises, of the prose as well as of the 
poetical sorts. The most effective and coherent of these we 
next proceed to detail as completely as the occasion and our 
limits allow. 

The crime which is imputed to Roderic has been already 
indicated as the alleged provocation or justification of the 
treachery of Count Julian. The conduct of Cava herself has 
been looked upon in many lights, some of which display her as 
the victim of the violence or the seductive arts of the king, 
others as his willing mistress. Her true name was Florinda, 
which, in memorv of this unfortunate holder, is never bestowed 
upon their children by the Spaniards. They give it to their 
female do<^s, so savs Cervantes. The Moors retain her name 
with the same feeling of abhorrence ; for, says Voltaire, they had 
<riven to a dan2;erous promontory on their coast the title of '•'The 
Cape of the Caba Rumia," i.e. '' The Cape of the Wicked 
Christian Woman." They aver that she was buried on that 
cape, and consider it unlucky to be compelled to put into the 
bay it incloses on one side. It should be remembered that the 
story of King Roderic has been written by his enemies, 
and that, as with many of the monsters of '*• history," it is 
not impossible to see a side of the subject which is less 
dishonourable than that which is commonly presented to us. 

The atrocity of the crime which is charged against King 
Roderic was heightened by the alleged fact of one of the many 
versions of this legend, that, at the time Florinda was ravished. 
Count [ulian was defending Ceuta against the Moors. The 
indignity and the opportunity were, so runs the tale, too 



powerful for the loyalty, or even for the patriotism, of the count, 
and he betrayed— as all the histories declare, see those of the 
Moors, which we have just cited— the fortress in his charge to 
the besiegers, and led their forces in the most efFectual manner 
against his country, and was revenged upon his king. The 
story avers that, in the interval of time which elapsed between 
the crime of Roderic and its punishment, the conscience of the 
kin^'- was awakened by his fears, and the effects of these powers 
upon a sinful and superstitious nature made him wretched to 
such a dei^ree that he determined to test an ancient tradition, 
concerning the so-called Vault of Destiny, which was said to 
exist anion"- some Roman ruins, at a short distance from I oledo, 
where Kin'>- Recesvinthus had an adventure with an enchanted 
kni^^ht, who was tran^formed from the shape of a stag, which 
the roval hunter pursued into a cave, and in that cave challenged 
him to combat. The challenge was accepted, begun, and 
continued for some time, without a result. At length the 
enchanted warrior, finding that he could achieve nothing, 
desisted, and, in the course of conversation, intoriiied the 
astonished kinir that he was not the monarch for whom the 
adventure of the cavern was destined ; and, further, precheted 
the downfall of the Visiirothic rule and the Christian faith in 
Spain, which would attend the discovery of the mysterie> of 
the place. Appalled at this announcement, Recesvinthus 
ordered the entrance to the cavern to be built up, and secured 
by ponderous bars of iron. So it remained for half a century, 
and the adventure was expressed as a popular legend, which 
haunted the royal house of Spain -^^ with inexpressible terrors. 

* One of Caldcron s plays— 0/7_^fn, perdida y reitauradon de la Virgen del Sagrario — 
comprkei this story amonj; its multifarious incidents. St e notes to Sir Walter Scott's 
Vision of D.n Roderic. llie play in question is analysed in Sismondi's llht. Lit. 
M:di. c. xxxiv. 






The story is told by Roderic, Archbishop of Toledo, one of 
the earlier chroniclers of Spain ; and in a much more eftective 
manner by one of the '' True Histories of the king, Don 
Roderic " : 

" One mile on the cast side of the city of Toledo, among some 
rocks, was situated an ancient tower, of a magnificent structure, though 
much dilapidated by time, which consumes all : four estadoes {i.e. four 
times a man's height) below it there was a cave with a very narrow 
entrance, and a gate cut out of the solid rock, lined with a strong 
covering of iron, and fastened with many locks; above tlie gate some 
Greek letters were engraved, which, although abbreviated and of 
doubtful meaning, were thus interpreted, according to the exposition 
of learned men: 'The king who opens this cave and can discover 
the wonders, will discover both good and evil things.' Many kings 
desired to know the mystery of this tower, and sought with much care 
to find out the manner of obtaining an entrance ; but when they 
opened the gate such a tremendous noise arose in the cave that it 
appeared as if the earth was bursting, so that many of those who were 
present sickened, and others lost their lives with fear. In order to 
prevent such great perils (as they supposed a dangerous enchantment 
was contained within), the gate was secured with new locks, con- 
cluding that, though a king was destined to open it, the fated time was 
not yet arrived. At last. King Don Roderic, led on by liis evil fortune 
and unluckv dcstinv, opened the tower; and some bold attendants, 
whom he had brought with him, entered, although agitated with fear. 
Having proceeded a good way, they fled back to the entrance, terrified 
by a frightful \ i-ion which they had beheld. The king was greatly 
moved, and ordered many torches, so contrived that the tempest in the 
cave would not extinguish them, to be lighted. 

" 'I'hen the king entered, not without fear, before all the others. 
They discovered, by degrees, a .splendid hall, apparently built in a very 
sumptuous manner ; in the middle stood a bronze statue of very 
ferocious appearance, which held a battle-axe in its hands. With this 





he struck the floor violently, giving it such heavy blows that the noise 
in the cave was occasioned by the motion of the air. The king, 
greatly affrighted and astonished, began to conjure this terrible vision, 
promising that he would return without doing any injury in the cave, 
after he had obtained a sight of what was contained in it. The statue 
ceased to strike the floor, and the king, with his followers somewhat 
assured and recovering their courage, proceeded into the hall, and on 
the left of the statue they found this inscription on the wall, ' Unfor- 
tunate king, thou hast entered here in evil hour.' On the right side of 
the wall these words were inscribed : 'By strange nations thou shalt be 
dispossessed, and thy subjects foully degraded.' On the shoulders of 
the statue other words w^re written, which said, ' I call upon the 
Arabs.' And upon his breast w^as written, * I do my oflice.' At the 
entrance of the hall there was placed a round bowl, from which a 
great noise, like the fall of waters, proceeded. They found no other 
thing in the hall, and when the king, sorrowful and greatlv atfccted, 
had scarcely turned about to leave the cavern, the statue again com- 
menced its accustomed blows upon the floor. After thev had 
mutually promised to conceal what they had seen, they again closed 
the tow^er, and blocked up the gate of the cavern with earth, that no 
memory might remain in the world of such a portentous and evil- 
boding prodigy. The ensuing midnight they heard great eric-, and 
clamour from the cave, resounding like the noise of battle, and the 
ground shaking with a tremendous roar. The whole ediiice of the 
old tower fell to the ground, by which they were greatly affrighted, 
the vision which they had beheld appearing to them as a dream. 

"The king, having left the tower, ordered wise men to explain what 
the inscriptions signified, and, liaving consulted upon and studied their 
meaning, they declared that the statue of bron/e, with the motion 
which it made with its battle-axe, signified Time, and that its office 
alluded to in the inscription on its breast, was, that he never rests a 
single moment. The words on the shoulders, ' I call upon the Arabs,' 
they expounded that, in time, Spain would be concpiercd by the 
Arabs. The words upon the left wall signified the destruction of 



Kine Roderic ; those on the right, the dreadful calamities which were 
to fall upon the Spaniards and Goths, and that the unfortunate king 
would be dispossessed of all his states. Finally, the letters on the 
portal indicated that good would betide to the conquerors and evil to 
the conquered, of which experience proved the truth." 

The Arab account of the legend appears in this form : 
There was in Tangiers a Rilmi (Roman or Goth) named 
Ilyan (Julian), who was Al-makaddam (Count of the Marches) 
of Roderic, King of Andalus, who held his court at Toledo. 
Tliis monarch was the same under whose reign Andalus was 
invaded and subdued bv the Arabs. One of the causes which 
is said to have contributed to that event is the following : 
There was at Toledo a palace, the gate of which was secured 
with many locks, for every king who ruled over that country 
added a lock to the gate, and none ever dared to open it, nor 
did any one know what it contained. The number of the 
locks had already reached twenty — one for each of the kings 
who had governed that country — when the said Roderic 
ascended the throne of Andalus. He then said, '*• I must have 
the gate of this palace opened, that I may see what is inside." 
But his counts and bishops said to him, " Do no such thing, 
O king ! do not innovate upon a custom we have kept most 
religiously." But Roderic replied, '^ No, you shall not 
persuade me; I must have it opened and see what it contains." 
He then caused the gate to be thrown open, but he found 
nothing inside save a roll of parchment, on which was pour- 
tiayed figures of turbanned men, mounted on generous steeds, 
having swords in their hands, and spears with fluttering 
pennons at the ends. This roll contained, besides, an inscrip- 
tion, *•' The men represented in this picture are the Arabs, 
the same who, whenever the locks of this palace are broken, 
will invade the island and subdue it cntirelv." When Roderic 




saw this, he repented of what he had done, and caused the 
gates to be shut. Andalus is often spoken of by the Arabian 
historians as an ishmd. With this term, Al-makkari wrote of 
it in the beginning of his book. The name of Algeciras may 
be but a particuhir apphcation to the point of arrival of a name, 
Al-gcsira, which appHed to the whole country. Thus, a man 
said he was going to the island, Al-gcsira, or Spain, of which 
the nearest point ultimately received the name in question. 

Scott, in his ^' Vision of Don Roderic,'' shifted, or rather 
adapted, the scene from this legendary spot of the terrible 
vision to another in the precincts of the Cathedral of Toledo, to 
which, at his order, the archbishop of that city led the king : 


By winding stair, dark aisle, and secret nook. 

Then on an ancient gateway bent his look j 

And as the key the desperate king essay'd, 

Low-mutter'd thunder, the cathedral shook, 

And twice he stopp'd, and twice new effort made. 

Till the huge bolts roll'd back, and the loud hinges bray'd. 

** Long, large, and lofty was that vaulted hall j 
Roof, walls, and floor were all of marble stone, 
Of polish'd marble, black as funeral pall. 
Carved o'er with signs and characters unknown ; 
A paly light, as of the dawning, shone 
Through the sad bounds, but whence they could not spy ; 
For window to the upper air was none j 
Yet, by that light, Don Roderic could descry 
Wonders that ne'er till then were seen by mortal eye, 

" Grim sentinels, against the upper wall, 
Of molten bronze, two statues held their place ; 
Massive their naked limbs, their stature tall. 
Their frowning foreheads golden circles grace. 
Moulded they seem'd for kings of giant race, 
That lived and sinn'd before the avenging flood ; 
This grasp'd a scythe, that rested on a mace j 
This spread his wings for flight, that pondering stood. 
Each stubborn seem'd and stern, immutable of mood. 


" Fix'd was the right-hand giant's brazen look 
Upon his brother's glass of shifting sand, 
As if its ebb be measured by a book. 
Whose iron volume loaded his huge hand ; 
In which was wrote of many a falling land, 
Of empires lost, and kings lo exile driven : 
And o'er that pair their names in scroll expand — 
* Lo, Destiny and Time ! to whom by Heaven 
The guidance of the earth is for a season given ' — 

" Even while they read, the sand-glass wastes awav ; 
And, as the last and lagging grains did creep, 
That right-hand giant 'gan his club upsway. 
As one that startles from a heavy sleep. 
Full on the upper wall the mace's sweep 
At once descended with the force of thunder. 
And hurtling down at once, in crumbled heap, 
The marble boundary was rent asunder, 
And gave to Roderic's view new sights of fear and wonder." 

The sights thus presented to Roderic were of the sort such 
as the Arabian account of the battle can tell. 

Roderic, who was recalled from the north of Spain— where 
he had been quelling an insurrection — by the news of the 
landing of the Arabs, arri\cd on the plains of Sidonia with an 
army of ninety thousand men, and was accompanied by all the 
nobles of his kingdom; yet Taric was not intimidated by this 
numerous host, which appeared to him but as an ao;itated sea; 
for he knew that if his Aloslcmah were inferior in point of num- 
bers, they possessed advantages in valour, in the quality of their 
arms, and in the dexterity with which they used them. It is 
true that the first and last ranks of the Christians were armed 
m coats of mail and cuirasses of proof; but the remainder of 
the force was without this defence. Yet they, too, were in 
part provided with lances, shields, and swords; while in the 
other parts they were lightly armed with bows and arrows, 
slings, and other weapons, each according to the fashion of his 
country ; some having short scythes, clubs, or battle-axes only. 










The Moslem leaders thereupon assembled their scattered 
bands, and recalled the divisions of their flying cavalry, when, 
being all united, Taric arranged his forces, prepared them for 
the strucrale, and, full of confidence, stood ready to give the 
Christians battle. 

The opposing hosts first found themselves face to face on 
the plains traversed by the Guadalete."^ The day was Sunday, 
and there still remained two days of the moon of Ramazan. 
The earth trembled under the tramp of the forces, and the air 
resounded with the clash of trumpets, the thunder of the drums, 
the roar of a thousand other instruments, and the mingled 
outcries of the vast multitude comprising both the hosts. 
They met with equal bravery and resolution, althou-h with 
much disparity of numbers, since the Christians had tour men 
for one of the xMoslcmah. The battle commenced with the 
dawn of dav, and was maintained on both sides with equal 
constancy ; but without advantage for cither party. The 
carnage thus continued until the arrival of nio;ht compelled the 
combatants to give a truce to its sanguinary horrors. Both 
hosts passed the hours of darkness on the held of battle, and 
waited im-xitientlv for the arrival of dawn to renew the 
fight ; and w^hen the first light appeared in the east they 
recomm.enccd the murderous struggle, yet still with the same 
results. Nothing: decisive wms i2;ained on either side, and w^itb 
the second arrival of darkness only did the slaughter cease. 

On the third morninir of the cruel strife. Taric observed 
that the Moslemah be2;an to lose heart, and were yielding 
ground to the Christians ; wherefore, riding through the ranks 
of his people, he rose aloft in his stirrups and addressed them 

* The Inquiries of Gayangos decide the question which was formerly debated of the 
site of this momentous conflict. It happened much neirer the sea than was believed, 
and near the mouth of the river Guadalete. 




as follows : '' O Moslemah, conquerors of Almagreb !^ 
whither tend your steps ? To what end your unworthy and 
inconsiderate flight ? The enemies are before you, but behind 
you is the sea. There is no help for you, save in your own 
valour and the aid of God. On, therefore, warriors and 
Moslemah ! on ! Do as you see your leader shows you the 
example ! " Saying these words, he spurred his horse directly 
forwards, cut down all before him to right and left, and so 
forced his way to the Christian banners. Here Taric recog- 
nised the king by his decorations and the horse he rode ; 
wherefore, transpiercing him with his lance, the unhappy 
Roderic fell dead ; for so did God destroy him by the hand of 
Taric ; and thus did he bring aid to the Aloslemah. The 
troops of the Faith then cut down all before them, according 
to the example of their leader \ and the Christians, seeing their 
monarch, with many others of their principal captains, lying 
dead, fell into disorder, and fled terrified from the field. The 
Arabs followed their victory. 7'hey pursued the fugitives, and 
the swords of the Aloslemah cavalry drank deep of Christian 
blood in places far and wide from the plains whereon the battle 
had been fought. Nay, there were so many slaughtered, that 
(jod, who created them, can alone recount their numbers. 
Tlius did the battle conclude. The victory of Guadalete was 
Lrained ow the fifth dav of the moon Xaw^d ; and that district 
remained covered with the bones of the dead for a very long 
space of time thereafter. 

7\nic tt)ok the head of King Roderic, and sent it to Muza 
Ibn Nosseyr, giving him intelligence of his various successes, 
as well at the passiiig of Alzacauc (the Straits of Gibraltar) as 
in the victories that followed, relatinir at leno^th the sanguinary 

* Western Barbarv. 

inmiji jpi.L mmiJMiim.nii imiw i 





and perilous Battle of Guadalete, wherein he had overcome 
all the power of the King of the Goths, and had dispersed his 
immense army. 

In this relation, Taric described to Muza how, on the first 
day. King Roderic entered into the battle, seated in a chariot 
of war, adorned with ivory ornaments, and drawn by two large 
white mules. On his head he wore a crown or diadem of 
pearls, while a rich chlamys, or mantle of purple, broidered 
with o-o!d, was the coverino^ of his shoulders. 1 he nar- 
rator ^^oes on to tell, in the manner of Eastern literature, 
how the messeno-er o^avc to Muza his own account of 
those matters, a sort of duplicate, or repetition, such as otten 
appears in Homer, of the subject, with one or two very 
characteristic additions. '' 'i'hesc details were heard with 
much pleasure by the Wall, who said that he would send the 
head of Kin^r Roderic to the Caliph Walid.=^- Such," exclaims 
the sententious narrator, '^ are the misfortunes that may happen 
to monarchs when they take a conspicuous place in the nudst 
of the battle!" 

Thus far the Arabian historian ; but there are several 
accounts of the tate cd" Roderic, which ditler considerably 
from his. The Christian writers style the battle, which 
the Arabs name after (niadalete, that of Xeres (Asta of 
the Romans), which is two leagues from Cadiz, at the foot 
of the mountains on the north side of the Guadalete, between 
Rota and Arcos. The Guadalete was the Chrvssus of 

Mariana's (the famous Spanish historian) account of the battle 

* It is said that on the same day when the messengers of Muza informed the 
Caliph of the conquest of Andalus, eleven more messengers, from divers parts of the 
earth, bore to him news i^i similar \ictories gained by the Arabs, and Walid fell 
on his knees and praised God. 


does not differ essentially as to the beginning of the combat 
from the above, but it gives these further particulars of its 
course and termination : "First they began with slings, dirks, 
javelins, and lances -, then came to the swords ; a long time 
the battle was dubious, but the Moors seemed to have the 
worst till D. Oppas, the archbishop, having at that time 
concealed his treacheiy, in the heat of the hght, with a great 
bodv of his followers, went over to the infidels. He joined 
Count Julian, with whom were a great number of Goths, 
and both together fell upon the flank oi our army. Our 
men, horrified with that unparalleled treachery, and tired with 
fi'^htin^T, could no loniier sustain that charo;e, but were easily 
put to fliLiht. The king performed the part not only of a wise 
general, but of a resolute soldier, relieving the weakest, bring- 
in"- on fresh men in place of those that were tired, and stopping 
those that turned their backs. At length, seeing no hope left, 
he ali'dited out of his chariot for fear of being taken, and, 
niounted on a horse called Orelia, he withdrew out of the 
battle. The Goths, who still stood, missing him, were most 
part put to the sword ; the rest betook themselves to flight. 
The camp w^as immediately entered, and the baggage taken. 
What number was killed was not known ; I suppose they 
were so many it was hard to count them. I'his single battle 
robbed Spain of all its glory, and in it perished the renowned 
name of the Cjoths. The king's horse, upper garments, and 
buskins, covered wuth pearls and precious stones, were found 
on the bank of the river Guadalete, and there being no news 
of him afterwards, it was supposed he was drowned passing 
the ri\'er." 

Scott, in describing that part of the '^ Vision " which 
supplies so many effective elements to his poem, thus refers to 
the death of Roderic : 

II ii 



*' ' Is not yon steed Orelia ? ' — * Yes, 'tis mine ! 

But never was she turn'd from battle-line ; 

Lo ! where the recreant spurs o'er stock and stone ! 

Curses pursue the slave, and wrath divine ! 

Rivers ingulf him ! ' — ' Hush ' ' in shuddering tone, 

The prelate said, ' Rash prince : yon vision form's thine own ! ' 

" Just then a torrent passed the Hicr's course j 

The dangerous ford the kingly Likeness tried ; 
But the deep eddies whelm'd both man and horse, 
Swept like benighted peasant down the tide." 

It is also said that Rodcric was not slain in the battle 
or drowned in the river, but found refu'j:e in a Lusitanian 
monastery, where for many centuries a tomb was shown, 
which was inscribed, '' Here lies Roderic, Last of the 

The fate of King Roderic, as might be expected, made a 
deep impression upon the Spanish people ; their romantic 
songs and ballads abundantly refer to it, and the catastrophe 
with which it is involved. The second part of " Don 
Quixote " contains, in the chapter abt)ut the puppet show, a 
reference to this event, and the sutl'erer by the violence of the 
Don laments his loss with a quotation from one of these 
ballads, which has thus been admirably reproduced by Lockhart 
in his '' Ancient Spanish Ballad.^ " : 

" The hosts of Don Rodrigo were scattered in dism:iy, 

When lost was the eighth battle, nor heart nor hope had they ; 
He, when he saw that ficU was lost, and all his hope was flown, 
He turned him from his flying host, and took his way alone. 

*' His horse was bleeding, blind and lame — he could no farther go j 
Dismounted, without path or aim, the king stepped to and fro \ 
It was a sight oi pity to look on Rodcric, 
For, sore athirst and hungry, he 5taj_'gered faint and sick. 

" AH stained and strewed with dust and bL)od, like to some smouldering bianj 
Plucked from the flame, Rodrigo showed j his sword was in h/is hand, 
But it was hacked in:o a saw of dark and purple tint ; 
His jewelled mail had many a flaw, his helmet many a dint. 

., .s-^i^if ^'J^ . ^^fe*- L. 






*' He climbed unto a hill-top, the highest he could see — 
Thence all about of that wild rout his last long look took he ; 
He saw his royal banners, where they lay drenched and torn, 
He heard the cry of victory, the Arabs' shout of scorn. 

" He looked for the brave captains that led the hosts of Spain, 
Put all were fled except the dead, and who could count the slain ^ 
Where'er his eye could wander, all bloody was the plain, 
And, while thus he said, the tears he shed ran down his checks like rain: 

*'< Last night I was the King of Spain ; to-day no king am I j 
Last night fair castles held my train —to-night where shall I lie ^ 
Last night a hundred pages did serve me on the knee, — 
To-night not one 1 call my own :-not one pertains to me. 

*'Oh, luckless, luckless was the hour, and cursed was the day. 
When I was horn to have the power of this great seignory ! 
I'nhappy me, that I should see the sun go down to-night ! 
O Death, why now so slow art thou— why fearest thou to smite ' " 

Alaster Peter's lamentation in '' DonQiiixote" vented itself in 
the words of Don Roderic in the ballad. The Don had made 
as short work of his imperial and royal puppets as the Moors 
of his Majesty's subjects. '' The Penitence of King Roderic " 
is another of these ballads ; to it Sancho Panza ('' Don 
Quixote," part ii. book iii. chap, i) calls the attention of the 
Duchess. Lockhart reproduced this work as follows ; it 
refers to one of the many legends about the woeful death of 
the monarch : 

" It was when the King Rodrigo had lost his realm of Spain, 
In doleful plight he held his flight oY-r Guadalcte's plain j 
Afar from the fierce Moslem he fain would hide his woe. 
And up among the wilderness of mountains he would go. 

*' There lay a shepherd by a rill with all his flock beside him ; 
He asked him where upon his hill a weary man might hide him; 

* Not far.' quoth he, ' within this wood dwells our old Eremite ; 
He in his holy solitude will hide ye all the night.' 

" ' Good friend,' quoth he, * I hunger ! ' ' Alas ! ' the shepherd said, 

* My scrip no more containeth but one litt'.e loaf of bread.' 
The weary king was thankful ; the poor man's loaf he took ; 
He by him sate, and, while he ate, his tears fell in the brook. 




" From underneath his garment the king unlocked his chain, 
A golden chain, with many a link, and the royal ring of Spain ; 
He gave them to the wondering man, and, with heavy steps and slow, 
He up the wild his way began, to the hermitage to go. 

*' The sun had just descended into the western sea. 
And the holy man was sitting in the breeze beneath his tree ; 
' I come, I come, good father, to beg a boon of thee : 
This night within thy hermitage give shelter unto me,' 

" The old man looked upon the king — he scann'd him o'er and o'er — 
He looked with looks of wondering — he marvelled more ani more. 
With blood and dust distained was the garment that he wore, 
And yet in utmost misery a kingly look he bore. 

" ' Who art thou, weary stranger ' This path why hast thou ta'cn ' ' 
' I am Rodrigo j yesterday men called me King of Spain : — 
I come to make my penitence within this lonely place j 
Good father, take thou no offence, for God and Mary's grace ! ' 

"The Hermit looked with fearful eye upon Rodrigo's face — 
*Son, mercy dwells with the Most High — not hopeless is thy case ; 
Thus far thou well hast chosen— I to the Lord will pray; 
He will reveal what penance may wash thy sin away.' 

** Now, God us shield ! it was revealed that he his bed must make 
Within a tomb, and share its gloom with a black and living snake. 
Rodrigo bowed his humbled head uhcn God's command he heard. 
And with the snake prepared his bed, according to the word. 

** The holy Hermit waited till the third day was gone — 
Then knocked he with his finger upon the cold tombstone; 
* Good king, good king,' the Hermit said, * an answer give to mc, 
How fares it with thy darksome bed and dismal company ?' 

*' ' Good father,' said Rodrigo, ' the snake hath touched me not ; 
Pray for me, holy Hermit — I need thy prayers, God wot ; 
Because the Lord his anger keeps I lie unharmed here ; 
The sting of earthly ven^icance slccp' - a worker pain I fear.' 

"The Eremite his breast did smite when thus he heard him sav ; 
He turned him to his cell — that night he loud and long did pray ; 
At morning hour he came again -then doleful moans heard he ; 
From out the tomb the crv did come of trnawin^ mi erv. 




" He spake, and heard Rodrigo's voice : ' O, Father Eremite, 
He eats me now, he cats me now, I feel the adder's bite ; 
The part that w'as most sinning my bedfellow doth rend ; 
There had my curse beginning, God grant that it may end ! ' 

*' The holy man made answer in words of hopeful strain j 

He bade him trust the body's pang would save the spirit's pain. 

Thus died the good Rodrigo, thus died the King of Spain, 

Wash'd from offence the spirit hence to God its flight hath ta'en."* 

* ^Indent S^anhh Balladi : Hhtorical and Romantic. Translated by J. G. Lockhart, 
Esq. 4tli Ed. London : John Murray. 1^53. 






'^^V^ITH the progress of the conquest of Spain bv 

f iS^t*l1*i£i /C^ the Arabs we propose not now to concern 
*-' I v/Av/l^ ourselves at length. Upon some points of 
A^w the subject we shall enlarge further on, and 

when dealins: with another section of our history. A few 
words about the Arab conquest will suffice here. The rapid 
adv^ancc o^ this people is almost unexampled in history, for, 
however overwhelmino: may have been many like achieve- 
ments, they have never, to the best of our recollection, been 
permanently effected, so that long possession followed capture. 
Gibbon's noble ^' History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman 
Empire " will, in its sections appertaining to our theme, supply 
sufficient materials for study by those who wish to take a 
general survey of the subject, especially in its bearings upon 
the state of Europe, Asia, and Africa, during the long period 
which succeeded the establishment of the dominion of the Arabs 
in Spain. If our limits and plan were henceforth more com- 
prehensive than is the case, we might here detail the treatment 
which the jealousy of Muza vouchsafed to his energetic lieu- 
tenant Taric, the real founder of the Fortress of Gibraltar, to 
which he gave his name, and which has preserved that name 
for multitudes of ears which have never received knowle(l<rc 
of his ungenerous superior, or even of their common master, 
the Caliph Walid himself. In short, Muza, some time after 
he heard of the victorious progress of his deputy, crossed the 



Straits with considerable reinforcements, and, in the Caliph 
Walid's name, took possession of the enormous spoils of the 
country. Deeply offended that his lieutenant had so far 
exceeded his orders and overrun the kingdom of the Peninsula 
without further authority than had been given to him, Muza 
demanded a rigid account of the treasures taken, disgraced 
I aric, and even, it is said, scourged him with his own hands. 
Faric appealed with success to the Commander of the Faith- 
ful, and was reii:stated. Muza was disgraced in turn, accused 
of vanity and falsehood, fined two hundred thousand pieces 
of gold, publicly whipped, and set in the sun before the 
palace gate at Damascus for a whole day. Abd-1-aziz, 
his valiant son and coadjutor in conquest, having been accused 
of desiring to set up an independent kingdom, that being the 
alleged object of his proceeding to marry Agilona, the widow 
of King Roderic, was slain in the palace at Cordova, and his 
bloody head spitefully shown to the father, who is said to have 
died of a broken heart. The sons of Witiza, on whose behalf 
the invasion was alleged to have been made, were re-possessed 
of their private estates, and his granddaughter married to an 
Arabian noble. The treatment of the Spaniards, according to 
Gibbon, was by no means harsh, although war was constantly 
urged against such of their fellows who retreated into those 
r.orthern provinces whence their descendants issued in course 
of time to the re-conquest of the Peninsula, and presented 
themselves in the novel character of besiegers of Gibraltar. 
Meanwhile, the Arabs tolerated the Christians more loyally 
than the latter had tolerated the Jews, or, during the many 
stages of the re-conquest, the Spaniards dealt with those Moors 
who fell under their authority. 

Magnificent kingdoms were founded in Spain by the Arabs 
aiid secured for centuries by the amalgamation of many races 



on the soil. In the north, however, Leon and Arragon were 
set up and maintained by the remnants of the Visieothic sub- 


jects. Castile and Navarre followed in the same course. 
In the south, dynasties succeeded each other ; the minor 
provinces became independent, and were often, nav, almost 
constantly at enmity. Their weakness grew out of their 
divisions. The Almoravide dynasty w^as set up in Cordova in 
1091 ; in 1 145 that of the Almohadcs supplanted them there, 
and, in 1236, the Spanish Christian power had so far recovered 
itself that, hve hundred and f )rty-five years after the Arabian 
conquest, the king, Ferdinand the Third of Castile, expelled 
the Almohades from the city ; and the authority of that ancient 
family was set up anew in Gran;ida. The Moorish dominion 
in Spain ended with the capture of the city of Granada, by 
the soldiers of Ferdinand and Isabella, in 1462 (January 2), 
seven hundred and forty-one years after the landing of 'Faric 
at Gibraltar. 

This rapid sketch will serve as a key to much that follows 
of the general history of our subject. 







f>y^E come now to the Fortress of Gibraltar, and 
fJ^^l'k^'^^C^ cannot do better, in i2;iving its history under 



the Moslems, than refer to w^hat is stated of 
its aspect in the admirable '^ Historv of the 
Mahommedan Dynasties in Spain,'' of Ahmed Ibn .Mohammed 
Al-makkari, as translated by M. Pascual de Gayangos — a work 
which, until the Escurial has been compelled to open its 
treasure chests to students, will be the text for Hispano- 
Arabian historical readers.^ Part of this account we have 
already given at the opening of our task, where the reader will 
find that both the Moorish historian, and the Granadian poet 
whom he copies, compare the Rock to a shining light spread- 
ing its rays over the sea. " I saw the whole mountain shinino; 

* So jealous have been the Spanish custodians of the literary relics in the library of 
the Escurial, that, when M. Gayangos applied for leave to examine these treasures, his 
request was, "as often as made, positively denied, professedly on the plea that the 
library could not be opened (a contention having, two years before, arisen between the 
Government and the Royal Household as to the possession of it), but, in reality, from 
no other motive than my having publicly avowed the intention of making use of my 
materials in this country. This remnant of inquisitorial jealousy about its treasures ill 
suits a country whidi has lately seen its archives and monastic libraries reduced to 
cinders, and scattered or sold in foreign markets, without the least struggle to rescue or 
secure them." What is the state of that library in respect to Arabic texts may be con- 
ceived when it is understood that the collection of such works is not the result of 
public munificence, or royal wealth and judgment, but of so fortuitous an event as the 
capture by two Spanish galleys of three Moorish vessels which had on board the library 
of Muley Zidan, Emperor of Morocco. The Spanish Government has not sought to 
increase the wealth of the collection of MSS. which was thus strangely begun. 





as if it were on fire," wrote Abu-l-hasa:i Ibn Alusa Ibn Said 
Al-makkari further says that C}ibraltar stands as a histin^ 
memorial to the conquest of Andalus by the Moslems ; that, 
being named after Taric, it is also called Jchalu-l-fatah, the 
Mountain of the Entrance, or of Victorv, and that it was a 
dependency on Seville.* 

The Arabs had strange notions about the Straits of (Gibraltar, 
and it is especially noteworthy that they connected the Straits, 
and the Pillars which guarded them, with [lercules/f- or rather, 
from their point of view, with the once famous tower at Cadiz. 
To this effect Al-makkari wrote: ^' Cadiz is filkd with the 
remains of buildings, temples, aqueducts, and other wonderful 
constructions of the ancient kings of Andalus." '^ The most 
remarkable of these monuments," says Ibnu Ghalib, in his 
work entitled '' Contentment of the Soul in the contemplation 
of ancient Ruins found in Andalus," ^Ms undoubtedlv the tower 
and idol at Cadiz, which has not its equal in the world, if we 
except another of the same shape which stands on a hi-h 



* There is something peculiarly refreshing in being made to \oo\^ at a battle or 
course of other events from a point of view uhlch i. unusual to ourselves, and to be 
called upon to consider famous personages uith tl.e aid uf strange information and 
opinions. Thus, take this passage : the Arabian author is giving an account of a war 
which happened early in the twelfth century : " \n the same year (a.p. 1109), £rn,ik 
(Henry of Besanpn) and tlie son of Ramiro (Alfonso I. of Arragon), {n:jy tU 
Almighty', curves fall upon the heads of kth /), invaded the territory of Al-musta'in ibn 
Hud with an army, the numbers of which are only known to God. Al-musta 'in 
hastened to the defence of his States, but fate had decided against him, and lie fell a 
martyr in an encounter with the Christians. May God ba-ve mercy upon him /" 

t "So late as the sixteenth century the site of the Temple of Hercules, near Cadiz, 
was strewn with fragments of statues, columns and other relics of Roman or i>ha-nician 
work." Note, by Gayangos, to Al-makkari's " Hi.toiy of the Mahommedan Dynas- 
ties m Spain,- book i. c. vi. The Arabs styled the place « the district of the idols." 
The relics have been washed away by the sea, or used in the fortifications of Cadiz. 
See Salazar, lint, de Cadl^. So late as 1773, some of the foundations of the temple 
were still visible at very low tides. The port close to Cadiz is called by the country 
people Cahada de Hercules. 


promontory in Gallicia. It is notorious that, so lono- as the 
idol on the tower of Cadiz stood, it prevented the winds from 
blowing across the Straits into the ocean ; and that no large 
vessels could sail from the Mediterranean into the ocean, or 
vice versa ; but, on the contrary, when it was pulled down in 
the first year of the reign of the Beni Abd-al-mumen, the 
spell was broken, and vessels of all descriptions began to 
furrow the sea with impunity. This idol, according to the 
opinions of some writers, held some keys in his right hand, 
but the contrary has been proved by the author of the 
Jarafiyahr It is also stated that, according to ancient belief, 
an immense treasure was concealed under this idol's feet, and 
that when Ali Ibn Alusa, Admiral of the Sea, revolted against 
the Kaid, his uncle, he caused the idol to be pulled down, and 
a search made for the treasures, but nothing was found."* 

* The story is thus picturesquely given by Al-makkari, book i. c. vi., Gayangos, 
vol. i. p. 77 : " In this city," meaning Cadiz, "there formerly stood a square tower, 
upwards of one hundred cubits high, and built of large blocks of stone, admirably 
placed one on the top of the other, and fastened together by hooks of brass. On the 
top of the tower was a square pedestal of white marble, measuring four spans, and on 
it a statue representing a human being, so admirably executed in farm, proportions, 
and face, that it looked more like a living man than an inanimate block. His face 
was turned towards the Western Sea j he had his back to the north ; the left arm 
extended, and the fingers closed with the exception of the forefinger, which he held 
in an horizontal position, pointing towards the mouth of that sea which issues out of 
the ocean, and lies between Tangicrs and Tarifa, being known by the name of Bahru- 
z-zokak (the Straits of Gibraltar). His right arm was close to the body, as if holding 
his garments tightly ; and in the right hand he bore a stick, with which he pointed 
towards the sea. Some authors pretend that what he held were keys, but it is a mis- 
statement 5 I saw the idol often, and could never discover anything else but the above- 
mentioned stick, which he held in his right hand in a vertical position, and somewhat 
raised from the ground j besides, I am assured by the testimony of trustworthy people, 
who were present or assisted at the pulling down of this idol, that it was a short stick, 
of about twelve spans in length, having at the end some teeth like a curry-comb. 
Who was the builder of this tower, with the idol on the top, does not sufficiently 
appear. Mas'-udi, in his "Golden Meadows," attributes its construction to Al- 
abbar (Hercules), the same who built the seven idols in the country of Zini, which 



Thus much of the progress of the Arabs in Spain and of 
the more remarkable treasures which they found there. It is 

are one in sight of the other j but the most probable opinion seems to be that it was 
built by one of the ancient kings of Andalus, to serve as a guide to navigators, from 
the fact of the idol having his left arm extended towards the Bahru-z-zokalc (Straits), 
and pointing to the mouth, as if he were showing the way. There are not wanting 
people who thought this idol to be made of pure gold ; for whenever the rising or 
setting sun fell on the statue it sent forth rays of light, and shone in the brightest hues, 
like the colour of a ring-dove, blue being the colour which prevailed. Thus placed on 
the top of the tower the idol was a signal for the Moslem navigators to go in and out 
of the ocean, and whoever wanted to sail from any port of the Mediterranean to places 
in Al-Maghreb (i/V), such as Lisbon and others, had only to approach tlie touer, and 
then put up the sails, and make for the port whither they wished to go, whether Sale, 
Anfli (Anafa), or any other on the western coast of Africa. When, in after times, this 
idol was pulled down, it ceased of course to be a signal for navigators ; its demolition 
happened thus : In the year 540 (a.d. i 145-6), at the beginning of the Second Civil 
War, Ali-Ibn-'Isa-Ibn-Maymun, who was Admiral of the Fleet, revolted at Cadiz, 
and declared himself independent. Having heard the inhabitants s:iy that the idol 
was made of pure gold, his cupidity was raivcJ, and he gave orders for its immediate 
removal. The statue was accordingly brought down by dint of great exertions, and 
when on the ground was found to be made of brass, covered only with a thin coat of 
gold, which, when removed, produced 12,000 gold dinars. It is a general opinion 
among Andalusian and African Moslems that this idol exercised a sort of spell over the 
sea, but that the charm ceased the moment it was thrown down. They account for 
it in the following manner : There used to be in the ocean some large vessels which 
the Andalusians call karaiir, provided with a square sail in front, and another behind j 
they were manned by a nation called Majus^ people of great strength, determination, 
and much practice in navigation, and who, in their landing on the coasts, destroyed 
everything with fire and sword, and committed unheard-of ravages and cruelties, so 
that at their appearance the inhabitants fled with their valuables to the mountains, 
and the whole coast was depopulated. The invasions of tliese barbarians were periodi- 
cal — they took place every six or seven years j the number of their vessels was never 
less than forty, and sometimes amounted to a hundred j they devoured any one they 
found on the sea. The tower that I have described was known to them, and follow- 
ing the direction pointed out by the idol, they were enabled to make at all times for 
the mouth of the Straits, and enter the .Mediterranean, ravage the coasts of .-Xndalus 
(Spain), and the islands close to it, sometimes carrying their depredations so far as 
the coasts of Syria, But when the idol was destroyed by the command of Ali-Ibn- 
Maymun, as I have already stated, no more was heard of these people, nor were their 
kardkir (vessels) seen in these seas, with the exception of two that \serc wrecked on 
the coast, one at Mersu-I-Majus (the port of the Majus), and the other close to the 
promontory of Al-aghar" (Trafalgar, i.e. Jebal Al-gbar^ or the Promontory of the 





reported that, almost immediately after the landing of Taric,* 
the foot of the Rock of Calpe was fortified, and received his 
name ; it is also said that the materials of the ancient city of 
Cartcia were employed in the work, but this latter assertion 

Cave. Thus wrote the painstaking and appreciative Arabian historian. The invading 

Aiajui were certainly the Northmen, whose histories, as M. Gayangos points out, 

and those of all the countries which had been before that time obnoxious to their 

ravages, declare that they were periodical invaders, and we may add, that they ceased 

to ravage about the middle of the twelfth century. It is curiously confirmatory' of 

the details of this striking piece of history to find tJiat close to Cape Trafalgar are 

the port of the Majus and the Bubu-l- Majus (Gate of the Majus), in both of 

which places vessels of the Northmen are reported to have been wrecked. A parallel 

case to this is oddly afforded by the Port-na-Spanien, on the western coast of Ireland, 

where certain vessels of the Spanish Armada were destroyed in a storm. The Arabs 

found, or invented, many wonderful things in Andalus j of these we may refer 

the reader to the curious legend of the iron pot which hung over a terrible chasm in 

the rocks of a mountain, from out of which no human cunning or force could remove 

it, because as soon as the hands of any one touched the pot, it sank into the cavity and 

disappeared, to rise again when the endeavour to take it was abandoned. There were 

also the marvellous olive tree, which, like the Glastonbury thorn, blossomed and bore 

fruit on a certain day of the solar year j the bottomless pit of the Cabra — the crater of an 

extinct volcano ; the water-clocks of Toledo, which continued to tell the time " until 

the tyrant Al-fonsh (Alfonso) and the Christians (may God send confusion amongst 

them !) took Toledo," in 1134. All these things were as nothing in wondcrfulness 

compared with the great Tabic of Solomon, the legend of which even captivated the 

imagination of Gibbon, and which extraordinary piece of furniture was reputed to be 

of a single emerald j it was, doubtless, a sheet of green glass, and probably of similar 

origin to that once so famous chalice of Genoa, which was considered the holiest relic 

of Our Lord. The table was presented to the Caliph Walid as one of the nr.ost 

precious articles in the world. This table is said to have been found in the tower at 

Toledo, and to be connected with the spells which protected Spain against the Arabs, 

until Roderic opened the tower. 

* It is important to observe that several of tlie historians have confounded Taric, 
the freedman of Muza and most active commander, with the much more dignified 
personage, Tarif, who landed at Tarifa, to which he gave his name. Taric com- 
manded at the Battle of Guadalete ; it was he uho quarrelled with Muza and went to 
the East, where he confronted his former, and now jealous and vindictive, master 
before the Caliph, and, by producing the missing foot of the Table of Solomon, con- 
victed him of falsehood j this conviction led, say some of the Arabian historians, to 
the utter ruin of Muza. The expeditions of Tarif and Taric — who are both described 




is doubtful as regards the evidence, although more than 
probable in other respects. The account of Ibnu Hayyan 
is that he selected a good encampment, which he surrounded 
with walls and trenches. This was, doubtless, the origin 
of the place, and it is even probable that no large fortress, in 
the common sense of this term, existed on the Rock until 
long afterwards. Thus let us leave it, while we recount the 
fate of one of the most potent of the invaders, Muza Ibn 

by Al-makkarl as freedmcn of Muza— happened with the interval of a year. Conde, 
in his " History of the Dominion of the Arabs in Spain," blundered dreadfully in 
respect to these men, and has been the cause of almost innumerable blunders by 
others. Drinkwater suppressed Taric (!) and gave all his actions to Tarif. Iheir 
names and acts are, generally speaking, so nearly alike that it is hardly to be wondered 
at that errors have occurred in respect to them. M. Gayangos has carefully distin- 
guished one from the other. 




^\1 T(^^/^^^^^ became of Muza, the great conqueror 

fit'ivUi '-'i'-X ^^^^ commander in Afiica and Spain, the 
*^^W/\v-^ master of Taric and Tarif, to whom Julian 
V^v^ applied in the execution of his traitorous 

purpose .? This is a question which the reader may fairly ask. 
^Vhatever may be said about the rights of the sons of Witiza 
to the Visigothic throne, there can be no doubt that to invite 
foreigners to the conquest of the country was treason, which 
is darkened when those invaders are enemies sworn against 
the faith of the nation ; the bringing them by any means, and 
especially to aid tluni in destroying the country, was treason 
against the race as well as ao;ainst the kiivr. 

The question of the end of Muza is not diilicult to answer, 
for wc have ample Information on the subject, too ample 
It may be said, for there are, as usual, two accounts, and of 
very different complexions. 

After he had overrun Spain, with the aid of Taric, and, as 
some say, but doubtfully, even penetrated into France, he was, 
at the mstance of Taric, who appealed to the Commander of 
the P\aithful against the treatment vouchsafed to him by Muza, * 
recalled to the East by the Caliph, and compelled to <rive an 
account of his conduct. When he received the irresistible 
command to stay his conquests, he was at Lugo, in Gallicia ; 
on his journey he met Taric, and the pair went to Seville 
together. After settling affairs in that place, by appointing his 




son, Abd-1-aziz,* governor, he departed to that part of the coast 
of Spain where the troops coming from Africa usually landed,t 
and crossed the sea three years and four months after the 
landing of Taric, who accompanied him in this return. He 
left Africa Proper in the hands of his eldest son, Abdallah, the 
conqueror of Mallorca ; and Maghreb, or Western Africa, in 
those of Abdu-1-Malek, the youngest of his sons. To another 
son he gave the command of the coast. He then moved on 
his journey, attended by an enormous number of men and 
animals, laden with the spoils of manv nations, and amon^r 
them the before-mentioned and famous I'able of Solomon, 
wliich was said to have been found in the Tower of J^estinv 
at Toledo ; he took ako v.ith him thirty thousand captives, 
but advanced to the seat of the Alahommcdan power with 
a downcast and presa'j^lno; he.irt, the nielancholv of whieh 
was deepened by mortification at having been checked 
in his career of conquest, fi>r it is alleged of him that one of 
his schen-ics was to extend even the march of, ami, 
by crossing Gaul, the Alps, and Italy, subduing all as he went, 
to arrive before the seat of the Eastern Christian Empire in 

The people of Africa and Svria were brouirht to a state of 
utter astonishment by the spectacle of the prodigious wealth 
and numberless curiosities which this towerin'^ man bore in 
his train as he progressed towards the city of the Commander 
of the Faithful, which was Damascus. Aluza seems to have 
been a man of violent temper and imperious habits ; thus we 
learn, from the treatment he vouchsafed to Taric, strikiriL^ him 
with a rod before the assembled arniv, and re\ilin'j; that 
conqueror in the grossest manner, because he had gone further 

* Who manic J the wiJ^w oi RoJcrk. f This was probably Gibraltar. 







in victory than was proposed for him. On this journey into 
Syria he gave another proof of this rude and ill-regulated 
disposition. The most important of the prisoners who had 
fallen into the hands of the Arabs in Spain was the Governor 
of Cordova, a prince of the royal house of the Visigoths.* The 
prisoner fell into the hands of iMugheyth, a commander of 
great rank, from whom Muza demanded that the captive 
should be delivered up to himself; but this Mugheyth refused 
to do, answering, '' Nobody shall present him to the Caliph 
but myseh ; he is my patron and master, and to him only will 
1 make homage of my prisoner." Upon this, Muza sprang 
upon the Goth and tore him out of the hands of A4ugheyth. 
However, some of his friends having told him that if he arrived 
at court with his prisoner, Mughe)th would undoubtedly claim 
him before the Caliph, in which case the Goth would not 
contradict the assertion, he ordered him to be beheaded, and 
the sentence was immediately carried into execution. In 
consequence of this outrageous method of treating his subor- 

♦ Tlie taking of Cordova by means of an unsecured breach and a fig tree which, 
growing close to the ivalh ('), afTorded t)ie means of ascending to the troops of Taric's 
lieutenant, Mugheyth, strongly illustrates the condition of the Visigothic fortresses at 
this time. 'J lie city thus captured, the governor fied with his troops to the shelter of 
the church of St. George, which must have been fortified, as were many such edifices, 
until a much later date than the eighth century. Besieged there, the Goths held out 
until the result of a stratagem of the Arab general's, who sent a black man among 
them, betrayed the source of their supply of water, which he then cut off. The 
Goths, as it appears, had never seen a black man j and when that specimen of this 
race, which the Arabs had brought from their southern conquests in Africa, fell into 
their hands, they ^et about washing him with the hope of blanching his skin, and, 
failing in their attempts, desisted, more in consequence of the insufficiency of hot 
water and a hard brush in the operation than in respect for the outcries of the 
victim. A week after this the negro escaped to the Arabs, betrayed the secret of the 
water, and thus brought about the destruction of the church by fire, together uith its 
valiant but assuredly not well-informed defenders. The Arab chronicler says that the 
spot where this act of sacrifice took place is still called the " Church of the Burning," 
and held in great veneration by the Christians. 



dinatcs and their prisoners, Mugheyth hated Muza, and did 
much to injure l:im in the mind of the Caliph by supportin^^ 
the charges brought against him by Taric. 

When Damascus was reached, this imperious commander 
was accused of pecuhition, and the Table of Solomon, which 
these men seriously believed to be composed of one enormous 
emerald, was demanded of him and produced. The Caliph 
said, " Taric pretends that it was he, and not thou, who found 
it." Now this declaration of Taric's was true, for all Aluza's 
concern with this wonderful prize was in wrestino; it from the 
possession of the former, who, however, had artfully removed 
one of the feet from the stem of the table, and concealed it, 
pretending to Aluza that it was short of one foot when it 
came into his own hands. He removed the foot with an 
ulterior object, which now becomes apparent. Aluza, believing 
this story, replaced, as well as his artificers could manafrc it 
the pseudo-emerald foot with one of solid o-old. 


When the table was brought before the Caliph, and that 
ruler put the question which we have repeated, Aluza, little 
imagining that his own rapacity had dug a trap for him, replied, 
" Certainly not ; if Taric ever saw this table, it wah in mv 
possession, and nowhere else." Then Taric, addressing the 
Caliph, requested him to question Aluza about the le'r that was 
wantmg; and, on Aluza's answering that he had found it in 
that state, and, in order to supply the deficiency, caused 
another leg to be made, Taric triumphantly produced from 
under his tunic the original support, which at once convinced 
the Caliph of the truth of Times assertion and of Aluza's 
falsehood. After this he disbelieved evcrythin^r that AIuzi 
stated in his own defence, deprived him of all the enormous 
spoil, and banished him to a distant place, besides fining him 
so heavily that he was obliged to beg for bread for subsistence 





among the Arabs. It is said that he was mulcted of only half 
the imposed fine, and diverse accounts of his end are given by 
the writers on the subject. Al-makkari, whose record we have 
been condensing thus far, exercises much acumen in the 
matter, and concludes that, as to the truth, '' God only 

It is further related that, while Aluza was escaping from the 
violence of the Caliph, and was in vain seeking an asylum 
among the Arabs, he found at last, in Wadu-1-Kora, one of 
his ancient dependants and friends, who, remembering his 
former engagements, received him into his house, and fed him, 
until, finding that Aluza protracted his stay, and that his means 
were thereby exhausted, he determined upon delivering him 
into the hands of the officers of justice. Aluza, however, 
guessing his intention, went up to him, and addressed him in 
a very humble tone of voice, saying to him, "■ Wilt thou, O 
friend, betray me in this manner?" and the man replied, 
^' Against fate there is no complaint. It is not I who betray 
thee ; it is thy A/Iaster, tliy Creator, He who gave thee 
sustenance, who now abandons thee." Upon which, Aluza 
raised his eyes, bathed in tears, to the sky, and humbly besought 
God to grant him help and favour in his perilous situation. 
On the following day Aluza delivered up his soul. 

Another story is that he died at Alccca, in the suite of the 
Caliph, who said the customary prayer over his body. 

The glory of the achievement in which Aluza played so 
important a part was, among the Arabs who descended from 
the invaders of Spain, so great, that the chief companions of 
A^Iuza were reckoned and their biographies preserved with 
pride, much in the same way that the companions of Alahom- 
med were described and their careers recorded. Even the 
second degree of this relationship to Aluza, i.e. the persons 



who, by living to an extraordinary age, were reported to have 
conversed with these companions, and thus reflected, so to 
say, their splendour to a later age, were famous and, in some 
degree, venerated by the Arabs in Spain. To have come over 
with Aluza was something more, in Moslem imaginations, 
as a foundation to an hereditary claim for honour, than to 
have ''come over with the Conqueror" of yore among the 


The inheritance which had thus fallen from Christian hands 
to the lot of the Mahommcdans, was indeed a magnifk'cnt one. 
It was, so to say, a prodigious treasure chest, of which (Gib- 
raltar w^as the key, the bridge-foot, the doorway, the watch 
tower, the beacon, the Alpha and Omega, the arch-stone, and 
what not else, in the enthusiastic language of the new 
possessors. So proud were these owners of their unexampled 
windfall, that their rhapsodies continued from century to 
century. They were incessantly glorifying themselves on 
account of it. As these expressions of pride and joy are 
eminently characteristic and strikingly vigorous, let us quote a 
few of them in the next chapter. 





' - ■*• _/>Kn:..'- 




iE opinion of the Moslems as to the merits and 
value of Andalus was most exalted. '' But, were 
there no other thing in favour of this country 
than the prophecy uttered by the messenger of 
God, when he announced that it should be subdued by his 
people, and described the first conquerors from whom we 
descend," says one of the Arabs, ''as angels in armour-as 
appears in the sacred tradition that we hold from Tarif Abu 
Hamzah Ans Ibn Malik, who had it from his great aunt, 
Ummu-el-haram, daughter of Malhan, and wife of Abd-1-Walid 
'Obadah Ibnu-s-samah (may C^od pour his favours upon them 
all!), which great aunt received it herself from the mouth of 
the Prophet-that alone would be sufHcient to distinguish this, 
our country, and make it superior to any other." Thus wrote 
Ahmed Ibn Mohammed Ar-razi At-tarikhi, the historian, who 
proceeds to criticise those claims to the honours of the 
prophecy in question, which certain persons had \1\it forth m 
favour of Sicily and Crete, as the countries referred to by the 
words of Mohammed. The report of Al-makkari upon 
Andalusia, equals that which we have already quoted from the 
'' Geography " of Strabo. 

Of the magnificence in which some of the lords of this 
country lived, while they were in the full pride of possession, 
and of the fate which came upon their works, it will suffice to 
condense the account an Arabian author gives of Az-zahra, the 





now undlscoverable city of palaces, which stood about four 
miles from Cordova, and was originally founded for a place of 
pleasure, among forest-clad hills, and for one of the mistresses 
ofAn-nassir; but was afterwards used by that king himself. 
The lady, remarking on the loveliness of the palace, which had 
been built thus, compared It to a beautiful girl lying In the arms 
of an Ethiopian ; the latter being a dark, oak-covered mountain, 
which stood behind the place. Thinking to please her, the 
king ordered the instant removal of the mountain ; and was 
only dissuaded from an attempt to this end by the repre- 
sentations of his learned men, who declared God alone could 
effect such a purpose. Therefore An-nassir satisfied himself 
with cutting down the oaks and planting the entire mountain 
with fig and almond trees, which, in the right season, spread a 
delio;htful fragrance. This palace contained four thousand two 
huiulred columns and fifteen thousand doors ; a third of the 
revenue of the Slate was lavished upon its constructi<^n and 
service ; ten thousand slaves daily laboured to build it, with two 
thousand four hundred mules, and four hundred camels. To 
this prodigious work An-nassir devoted twenty-five years ot 
labour; Al-hakem, his son, fifteen years more. Some of the 
columns came from Rome, others from the country of the 
P>anks (probably Narbonne). The Eastern emperor gave one 
hundred and forty pillars, and one thousand and thirteen shatts 
of green and rose marbles came from the cities ot Africa. 
The remainder were quarried in Andalusia. The total cost of 
the building, during twenty-five years, was three hundred thou- 
sand dinars. It was most gloriously furnished. Its fountains 
were marvels. An unique pearl, presented by the Emperor 
Leo, was fixed on the top of one of the fountains, in a great 
hall, the doors of which were of ivory and ebc>ny. '1 he doors 
of the building throughout were covered with sheets of iron or 

polished brass ; the pillars were of crystal and transparent marble. 
Attached to this palace was a mosque of equal splendour. 
The Sclavonlan pages and eunuchs in the palace service 
were three thousand three hundred and fifty, who ate daily 
thirteen thousand pounds of flesh, besides game, &c. Another 
authority says there were twelve thousand of these servants. 
We may finish this extravagant account with one Item that 
will comprehend all and suffice for all. The daily allowance 
of bread for the fish in the ponds of Az-zahra was twelve 
thousand loaves, and a vast quantity of black pulse. To this, 
as to another palace of the same country, might be applied 
the verse of the Wizir Hazn Ibn Jehwar : 

"I once asked that house, whose inhabitants have now 
exterminated one another. Where are thy owners, the eminent 

lords who ruled over us ? 

^^ And she answered me,— Here they lived for awhile, but 
they are now gone ; they have varnished without my knowing 


^^ For our part," wrote Al-makkari, in expansively rejoicing 

v/ith ulory ot his people, '' we consider Andalus as the prize 

of the' race, won by the horsemen who, at the utmost speed of 

their chargers, subdued the regions of the East and West." 

There Is striking truthfulness in this Oriental expression ; the 

conquests of the Arabs were made at a gallop ; but it must 

not for a moment be imagined that the mass of the conquerors, 

vtill less the great bulk of the occupiers, of these so-styled 

Arabian acquisitions, were really Arabs, or even Eastern folks, 

in the ordinary sense of that term. Such was by no means the 

case. l^uic ibn Zeyad's whole garrison of the northern 

coast of Africa, opposite to Spain, while Julian yet commanded 

in Ceuta,was but ten thousand men at the utmost, and of 

these a verv lar-e proportion were Egyptians, themselves 



subject to the Arabs proper. The Berbers of Andalus and 
Africa were sufficiently numerous to give a vast amcnint of 
trouble to the Arabs in both provinces, and revolted with 
signal effect ere the conquest was many decades old. 

Tarif himself was a Berber i the seven thousand men with 
whom Taric landed at the foot of the Rock comprised very 
few true Arabs. All authorities aver that Berbers were the 
chief stren(>-th of the armies of invasion in Spain. A consider- 
able party of Goths turned against Roderic at the battle of the 
Guadalete, and we may be sure did not lose anything by means 
of their ever- loyal allies, the troops of the Commander o{ the 
Faithful. The influence of the Jews, which was most potent 
in the circumstances, was ardently employed against their 
Visisothic tyrants i* cities were entrusted by the Mahomme- 
dan leaders to the control of these people, and they were 
attached to the Moslem service in many ways. When the 
conquest was made, there was, as one of the Moorish 
chroniclers quaintly and candidly relates, a grand packing-up 
of goods by those of the victorious race who, having little to 
pack, were the more easily disposed to move into the golden 
land of Andalus, and take possession of new and readily- 
acquired estates. The Arabs, if so we must call them, under- 
stood the true mode of colonising and holding countries ; thus, 
their promises were inviolable. If the Christian chose to abide 
in his ancestral city, he had but to pay tribute to the Moslems 
— tribute of no great weight '-and his life and property were 
safe •, he might worship God after the manner of his people, 
and without fear of molestation. Historians mention more 

♦ See many sentences by Al-makkari, and, for the military services cf the Jews 
with the Arabs against the Cliristians at a much later period than that now in question, 
the proclamation to the people of the African coast by J use f Ben Taxfin, as to the 
Battle ufZalacca, a.d. io36, C.nJ/, Hist. Dgik. .^l.-.b. part iii. 17. 



than one case of bargaining, not taking forcible possession, of 
the sites of Christian churches in cities that had had Moorish 
owners for centuries after the coming of Taric. These 
tribute-payers lived side by side with the Moslems in the 
cities of Spain, and took no open part with their co-religionists 
in war aeainst the Arabian lords. Also, it must be remembered 
that Moors and Christians often fought side by side, and 
against the political enemies of both, without regard to their 
reli<2;ions.* 'I'hese peculiar circumstances deserve ample 
consideration by all readers of Spanish history. 

• See c'.ir. Condc^ Hut. D.m. Arab, part iii. S, a.d. 13S6. 





^^ UCH was the splendid possession which had fallen 
to the lot of the new power, or rather ot the new 
faith. One of the noteworthy effects of the con- 
^ quest of Spain by the Aloslenis was little dreamed 
of at the time that event came about ; this is to be observed 
in the history of those extraordinary outbreaks of fanaticism 
which are stvled '' the Crusades," and which continued to rage 
with more or less disastrous effects during several centuries. ^i- 

* We write not without thought of the Crusades as disastrous, and can sec nuthing 

of good in their course or effects, unless In the removal of turbulent spirits from their 

own countries to those of others, which countries they ruined so thoroughly tliat 

recovery seemed impossible. As to the spreading of scientific and artistic knowledge, 

as referred to these monstrous invasions, it is not to be denied fi;r a moment 

that the intercourse of peace would have been a thousand times greater and more 

intimate, and a million times more beneficial, than that which tuok pl.icc during the 

Crusades. When crazy Peter the Hermit began his furious preaching , tlie Mahom- 

medan countries had been seated in peace for centurie. ^ their civilisation was infinitely 

greater than that of their invaders, who brought nothing but horror, havoc, and 

senseless waste in their hands, and took back some scraps of sciences and arts, which 

they hardly comprehended, and which needed the cultivation of many generations in 

the new soil ere fruit came. The sole justification for these incursions, or rather the 

simrle consolation which we can derive from their occurrence, lies in the truth 

that, at the time, the civilisation of the Moslems was inclining to corruption, exactly 

as had happened before in the cases of the Persians when the Greeks overcame them, 

—of the latter when the Romans took their place, and of these conquerors k.A the 

world when their time was come to fall before the so-called barbarians ^i Gothic and 

other races 5 further, of the Guths, when the Arabs came to Spain. On the subject 

of the Crusades, it must have struck many students that we ot'ten read ot Christian 

prisoners being in the hands of the Moslems, but never yet caught a glimpse of a 

Moslem p/isoner in Christian captivity. What is the inference ^ We write elsewhere 


I I I 


In these contests the Spaniards alone, among the nations of 
Europe, had no share ; they had enough to do at home in 
recoverinir from the Moslems those provinces of their own 
country which Muza and his lieutenants had conquered. 

It was not until Gibraltar had again passed into Christian 
hands that the Sp.miards were secure in the possession of the 
country as a part of Christendom. Of the intermediate time, 
the records which treat of the Rock are sparse and few. Its 
military importance was for the first time recognised by Taric, 
and the stronghold or camp which he founded there must have 
opened the e\e.s of the world to the importance of the site ; 
yet it is more than probable that the erections of this leader 
v/erc merely sufficient to guard a landing-place for supplies and 
reinforcements in their passage from Almagreb, or Western 
Africa, to Andalus or Spain. Had the works Taric constructed 
been of greater importance than sufficed for w^hat we may call 
a tctc de pout;-''- we yhould surely have had some better account 
of them than that which has been here given. 

For a long time after the conquest of Spain was completed, 
so far as the Arabs were to achieve it, we hear nothing of 
(jibraltar as a fortress ; the historians of both sides, in the 
conflicts which continued to rage in that country, endeavour 
to satisfv their readers with brief accounts of those contests 
which were wars as well as rebellions. There must have 
been a fortress of some sort on the spot, but more than this 

of the effects of northern invasions upon the provinces of Spain, and cannot but note 
that the most frightful and hateful part of thc^e troubles was in the devilish and 
purposeless waste which accompanied them. Like wolves among sheep, the ruthless 
Northmen did ten times the damage their object of plunder required to make it 
successful. We need to study the records of tlie Crusades from the Mahommedan 
point of view ere it is possible to appreciate at their true value the nature of these 
inroads by our cliivalrous ancestors. 

♦ Ayala — Uhtoria de Gil/ra/tar—comidcrs these erections in this light. 

J 12 




we know not. The port which the tort guarded was, no 
doubt, as Ayala asserts, greatly frequented by troops going in 
and out of Spain, and emigrants who were attracted to that 
country by reports of its ancient wealth and the ease with 
which they might establish themselves there. Such, of course, 
was equally the case in later times with the droves of new 
invaders who came to support the causes of the Almoravides, 
Almohades, and Beni-Merines, or iVlarines, who successively 
crossed the Straits to conquer and dispossess the holders of 
fair Andalus. 

Before we proceed farther, a passing glance may be profit- 
ably given to the state of Spain under the rule of the Moslems, 
and while their power was not thorouo-hlv established in the 
country. It was by no means a peaceful state ; the successive 
depositions of the son of Muza, Abd-1-aziz, and those who 
followed him in command in the north as well as in the south 
of Andalus — even the pledges which had been given to 
Theodomir, that he should enjoy his domains in peace, thereby 
forming a kingdom in a kingdom —the dissensions between 
the Arabs proper and their more numerous allies, the Berbers 
— were all fruitful of trouble. The Berbers first rose in Africa, 
then in Andalus, and were with great difficulty subdued. 
They defeated Abdi-1-Malek, who had been sent against 
them ; the Syrians came to control them, under Balj : they 
defeated them, captured their commander, and put him to 
death. They also defeated other captains, and were not subdued 
until Yusif Al-ehri came against them with extraordinary 
powers. This series of outbreaks began in a.d. 723. In the 
course of it, Kolthum, General of the Moslems, escaping 
wounded from a battle, shut himself up in the fortress of 
Ceuta, with the Balj before mentioned. They were besico;ed 
there, and sent vainly into Spain to the Moslem commander, 

Abdi-1-Malek Ibn Kattan, to implore aid, which was refused, 
through fear that, if granted, it would be but the means of 
establishing an enemy against himself. l^his curious fact 
shows, in a very striking manner, the dissensions of the 
conquerors of Spain, which came about almost immediately 
after the event which made them powerful in that country, 
Hie result of Abdi-1-Malek's policy was that the Spanish 
Ik'rbers rose against and defeated him, and, as we have 
said, beheaded and crucified him. The grandchildren of 
Witiza turned up to the surface again, and troubled the 
Moslem rulers with accounts of their common hate and 
quarrels. Sarah the Visigoth, one of these descendants, 
appealed in person to the Caliph, Abdi-1-Malek, against the 
injustice of her uncle, Artabash, as the Arabs called him, with 
regard to certain estates which had been secured to the family 
in accordance to the convention of Julian with Muza Ibn 
Nosseyr, or rather with Taric. In the course of this nego- 
tiation, it is made clear that Andalus was not in immediate 
subjection to the Syrian court of the Commander of the 
Faithful, but dependent on the Wali of Mauritania, for the 
Caliph gave Sarah letters to this viceroy, and the latter 
instructed his lieutenant in Spain to do her justice. 

Meanwhile, the very Visigoths under Pelayas (Pelagius) 
were making head in the north of Spain, whence they had 
been driven by the first influx of the Aloslems, and Roderic's 
cousin was in the way of earning an immortal name as the 
first to take steps for the restoration of his country, race, and 
faith. The Aloorish historian, Ibnu Hayyan, called Pelayas 
'' a despicable barbarian," and sneered at the cowardice of his 
countrymen, who, until the administration of Anbasah, did 
not recommence to defend their wives and dauo-hters ; '' until 
then they had not shown the least inclination to do either." 





The commencement of the rebellion happened thus : There 
remained no city, town, or village in Gallicia but was in the 
hands of the Moslems, with the exception of a steep moun- 
tain, on which this Pelayas took refuge with a handful of men ; 
then his followers went on dying through hunger, until he saw 
their numbers reduced to about thirty men and ten women, 
having no other food for support than the honey which they 
gathered in the crevices of the rock which they themselves 
inhabited, like so many bees. However, Pelayas and his 
men fortified themselves by degrees in the passes of the moun- 
tain, until the Moslems were made acquainted with their 
preparations ; but, perceiving how few they were, they heeded 
not the advice conveyed to them, and allowed them to gather 
strength, saying, ^^ What arc thirty barbarians, perched upon 
a rock r they must inevitably die." " Would to C^od/' says 
Al-makkari, " that the Moslems had then extinguished at 
once the sparks of a fire that was destined to consume 
the whole dominions of Islam in those parts ; for, as Ihnu 
Sa'id has judiciously observed, the contempt in which the 
Moslems of those days held that mountain, and the few 
wretched beings who took refuge on it, proved, in after time, 
the chief cause of the numerous conquests which the posterity 
of that same Pelayas were enabled to make in the territory 
of the Moslems — conquests which have so much increased 
of late years, that the enemy of God has reduced many 
populous cities ; and at the moment in which I write the 
magnificent city of Cordova, the splendid capital of the 
Mahommedan empire of Andalus, the court of the Caliphs 
of the illustrious house of Umeyyah, has fallen into the hands 
of the infidels. May God annihilate them ! " -^ 

* With this very moderate wish the historian, who lived in the time of which he 
writes, concludes a very striking piece of history. 

To Pelayas succeeded Alfonso, and from^ him came the 
long line which ended but the other day in the dethronement 
of Isabella II. one of the hated Bourbons, but connected with 
this chieftain. Pelayas's rising happened in 717-8, and its 
effect went on with few stops until the namesake of [Alfonso 
became the first Christian owner of the fortress of Gibraltar. 

Had we records of more important events, it would not be 
desirable to note that, in the year 737, Ok-bah, the lieutenant 
in Andalus of Obeydullah, the African wali or viceroy, when 
conducting war against the Franks, had dealt with them 
so far off as at Narbonne, built a citadel there, and had 
stations on the banks of the Rhone, was at Zaragoza when he 
heard of a rebellion in Africa, and thence returned southwards, 
sent help to his chief by the route of (Gibraltar, and afterwards 
went himself, with victorious effect, to the aid of his master. 
It was Abdu-r-rahman,the predecessor but one of this Ok-bah 
in the rule of Spain, who was commander of the Arabs in the 
tremendous Battle of Tours, October a.d. 732. He was 
slain there, with so many of his troops and fellow believers, 
that .VIoorish traditionary grief styled the place of combat 
Balattu-sh-shoheda, or the Pavement of the Martyrs ; likewise 
the B.ittle of Balatt. As'-samah, another chief of this people, 
had been slain in battle near Toulouse, in a fight which bore a 
snnilar name to the above, with a vast number of his com- 
patriots. Of the last fight, said the historian, Ibnu Hayyan 
there remained even in his time a legend among the common 
people that, on the very spot where so many Aloslems fell, 
the voice of an invisible Aluezzin is daily heard at the hour of 
prayer, calling to his fellow ghosts, no doubt, and to all true 
believers, to join in adoration and supplication to the God for 
whose honour they were created. This picturesque and 
poetical idea was not, so far as wc know, entertained by any 



Other people than the Spanish Arabs. By the failure of these 
fights it was made evident that Moslem progress over the 
world had reached its term ; the Franks were too powerful 
for even their enormous hosts or the desperate fanaticism 
which animated them. Another account, and, we are bound 
to say, the more probable one, of the death of As'-samah, is 
that, instead of perishing in the fight at Toulouse, he was 
merely wounded there, and, receiving news of the successes 
of Pelayas (Pelagius) in the north of Spain, he returned, and 
was slain in battle ao;ainst that chieftain, near the walls of 
Leon, a city which Rodericks cousin was then endeavouring 
to recover from the Moslems. 

According to Ayala, the next event in the history ot Gib- 
raltar was the enlarging of the .Moorish castle on the Rock, by 
the successor of Ok-bah, which was then probably completed. 
An inscription over the south gate, he says, enables us to 
determine this point of its erection, or, at least, completion : 

"• Prosperity and Peace to our Sovereign and Slave of the 
Supreme God, Governor of the Moors, our Sovereign Abi 
Abul Hazez, son of Jesid, Supreme Ciovernor of the Moors, 
son of our Sovereign, Abi Al Walid, whom Ciod preserve."* 
For a lon<>- time after this we have no account of Gibraltar 
or its nei^^hbourhood. I'he next incident in its history refers 
to the progress of the Spaniards in reconquering their country 
from the Arabs. Of the former nation, Alfonso VI., King 
of Castile, was, at the latter part of the period in question, 
the most formidable and successful champion ; his conquests 
were efrectual in breaking; in upon the Oriental power in the 
Peninsula. This good fortune had acted so powerfully in coni- 

* This is Carter's version—Journey from Gibraltar to Malaga— ^s quoted by Bell. 
The date of this inscription is given as a.d. 742. 




mon with the increasing rebellions, wars and treasons of Arabs 
amongst themselves, that Al-mu-Tamed, king of the province 
of which Cordova was the capital, determined to invoke the 
aid of Jusef Ben Taxfin, his fellow in the Moslem faith on 
the southern side of the Straits of Gibraltar, and, in the course 
of negotiations to that effect, surrendered into his hands the 
stronghold of Algeciras, which was a fortified post to secure the 
arrival or departure of troops. In 1086 this surrender was 
made, and although the assistance thus obtained was success- 
ful for the time, and Alfonso defeated with terrible loss at 
Zalacca, near Badajos, when thirty-five thousand Christians 
are said to have been slain, vet the result was the establish- 
ment of a foreign Arab dynasty in Spain. This was the famous 
family of the Almoravides, which lasted until 1145, when the 
Almohades finally overcame them.* 

It was in the course of the third invasion, if such those actions 
must be called, of Jusef Ben Taxfin, that the submission 

♦ The account of this battle and the negotiations that preceded it, which Conde 
gathered from the Mahommcdan historians, is full of fire and dramatic interest, 
especially with regard to a certain ominous scries of dreams which Altonso had on the 
night preceding the conflict. 'I'his account is too long to be extracted here, but we 
may note one point in it that affirms the existence of Moslems among the vassals of 
the Castilian King, and his sending them to an Arab sage, in order to obtain an inter- 
pretation of tlie dreams which afflicted his spirit, although his own diviners and wise 
men declared that they signified nothing but good fortune in the battle which was at 
hand. The Moslem sage gave a contrary interpretation, which proved the true one. 
During the war against the Almoravides we find Alfonso in alliance with Aben Abed, 
the Moorish King of Seville, and his troops defeated by the intruders. It is almost 
needless to write that this was during the life of the famous Cid Campeador, who also 
served with Moslems against the Almoravides. The Moorish historians assert that 
the Cid, who is commonly considered as a model of chivalry, actually burnt alive Aben 
Cehaf, Governor of Valencia, in the great square of that city. He was probably one 
of those champions whom Alfonso sent to the aid (?) of Aben Abed in 1086, who 
were, in the picturesque language of the Moors, " all clad in their armour of iron"; 
they styled this king Alfonso Ben Ferdcland, because he was son of Ferdinand I., the 
f\)under of the kingdom of Castile. 




of Gibraltar took place. Some time afterwards this place was 
recovered from the Ahnoravides ; to this event we shall refer 
in due time. 

The next subject to which our history must be turned is 
external to Gibraltar. It took place in the vear A.n. 1 109, and 
is recorded in the Heimskringla, or Chronicle of the Kings of 
Norway, and relates to the crusade or journev to the East of 
Sigurd, second son of Magnus III., Barefoot, King of Nor- 
way, commonly called Sigurd the Crusader, or Jorsalafare, the 
Pilgrim, who, incited by the tales brought to the north by those 
who had been to Constantinople and Jerusalem, got together a 
company of men who seem to have been further actuated by 
that old fire of wandering which so strongly ino\ed the 
Scandinavians, and were, moreover, tempted bv the offers of 
the Emperor of the East to look upon his service in the 
famous Varangian Guard as a means for securinii wealth and 
importance. Of two brother-kings of Norway, it v/as deter- 
mined that Sigurd should lead the troops, and Eystein rule the 
realm durinir his absence. Siizurd sailed with sixtv Ion"- shins, 
and wintered in England with Hem-y the Eirst."^ In tlie 
spring he departed again for the west coast of Erance, and at 
the end of that year found himself in Ciallicia, or Jacob's land, 
as the Northmen called it, on account of the church of St. Jago 
de Compostella. Here he fell out with the ruler of the pro- 
vince, and plundered it, carrying off his booty to the ships. 
Sailing further south he came to the Portuguese coast, at 
Cintra, then in the hands of heathen folks, i.L\ Arabs. Sigurd 
took the castle and killed all in it, because they refused to be 
baptised, and got there an immense booty ; thence he proceeded 

* Ordericus Vltalis — History of England and Normandy— who refers to this visit, says 
that Sigurd was the son of Magnus III., by an Englishwoman, one Thora. 

t I 





to Lisbon, on the border country, between '' Christian and 
heathen Spain •/' there he had another battle, gained another 
victory, and took more booty ; at a place called Alkassi, Alcazar, 
of course a common name in the Peninsula, he was ao-ain 
victorious, and '^killed so many people, that the town was left 
empty." Thus recites the Saga of his next adventure : 

^' King Sigurd then proceeded on his voyage, and came to 
Niorfa Sound (Gibraltar Straits), and in the Sound he was met 
by a large viking force (squadron of war ships), and the king 
gave them battle ; and this was his fifth eno-ao-cment with 
heathens since the time he came from Norway. So says 
Halldor Skualldre : 

" ' He moistened your dry swords with blood, 
As through Niorfa Sound ye stood ; 
The screaming raven got a feast, 
As ye sailed onwards to the East.' 

Hence he went along Sarkland, or Saracen's land, Mauri- 
tania, where he attacked a strong party who had their fortress 
in a cave, with a wall before it, in the face of a precipice; a 
place which was difficult to come at, and where the holders, 
who are said to have been freebooters, defied and ridiculed the 
Northmen, spreading their valuables on the top of the wall in 
their sight. Sigurd was equal to the occasion in craft as in 
torce, for he had his ship's boats drawn up the hill, filled 
them with archers and slingcrs, and lowered them before the 
mouth of the cavern, so that they were able to keep back the 
defenders long enough to allow the main body of the Northmen 
to ascend from the foot of the cliff and break down the wall. 
This done, Sigurd caused lariie trees to be broueht to the 
mouth of the cave, and roasted the miserable wretches within, 
further fights, an entertainment by Roger, Count of Sicily, a 
landing at Acre, a visit to Jerusalem, where he obtained an 
honourable reception from Baldwin, whom he assisted with his 






ships at the siege of Sidon, and a visit to Constantinople, 
where the Emperor Alexius paid him great honour,-'' tcinunatLd 
this remarkable voyage." 

The journey homewards by land, through Bulgaria, Hun- 
gary, and Swabia, is next recorded. In the latter place he was 
received by the Emperor Lothaire, so says the writer, obviously 
in error, because Lothaire II. did not become emperor untd 
A.D. 1 125, and this journey happened in a.d. iiii. Ar the 
former date he w^as Duke of Saxony, in which capacity, 
doubtless, he received the wandering king. Henry \'. was 
then Emperor of Germany. Continuing his long journey, 
Sicrurd was welcomed by Nicholas, King of Denmark, who 
furnished him with a ship for his passage to his own land. 

TakincT leave of this strange visitant to the waters ot Ciib- 
raltar, we return to the history of the place. Eollowing the 
Moorish accounts, we find that the day of the AlmoraN idcs 
was destined to come to an end about the middle of the twelfth 
century, and by means of the Almohades, a new and more 
severe sect of Moslems. Their founder, who was styled El- 
mehedi, the Teacher, was Mahommed Ibu Abdallah, the son 
of Tamurt, a lamplighter in a mosque, educated at Cordova, 
the capital of the Almoravides. He travelled for further 
improvement in the East. At Bagdad he became a pupil of 
Aben Ahmed Alirazali, a reformer, who had written a book 
which the learned at Cordova condemned and burnt, alleguig 
it to contain doctrines danii;erous to the Eaith. 1 he news ot 

* The boastful Norwegian chronicler says that Alexius Comnenus offered Sigurd his 
choice of a gift, either to receive six skifpound, one ton, of gold, or see the great games 
of the Hippodrome. The Northman wisely preferred the latter. The cost of the 
games was siid to be equal to the value of the gold offered. Sigurd gave his ships to 
the emperor, and their splendid prows were hung up in the Church of St. Peter, at 


this condemnation having been commuincated to the author by 
the student, they joined in vengeance upon the Almoravide 
oppressors, as they termed AH, King of Cordova, and his party. 
In 1 1 16 Mahommed travelled into Mauritania, and rendered 
himself conspicuous by the austerity of his manner of living, 
doctrines, and dress. Here a pupil, who afterwards became 
famous, and is peculiarly interesting to ourselves, came into the 
charge of the reformer. This pupil w^as Abd-1-mumen Ibn 
Ali, who was trained by El-mehedi, in his own views, and 
inspired with the conviction that the restoration of the truth 
should come bv their means. The pupil began to preach with 
all the zeal of a convert, and met with the persecution of a 
reformer. In vain did Ali the Almoravide banish him from the 
city of Morocco. He took up his quarters in a cemetery, and 
attracted many hearers with a prophecy of the coming of a new 
teacher, El-mehedi, who, as might be expected, was soon 
proclaimed to be Mahommed Ibu Abdallah, the actual teacher 
of the new prophet, Abd-1-mumen. Retiring to the mountains 
he converted to his tenets the whole tribe of Masamuda, who 
were thenceforth styled Mowahedan or Unitarians, a title which 
gave rise to the famous name, Almohades. With these tenets 
the party entered into active war against the Almoravides, and, 
after many changes of fortune, defeated them in a.d. 1 128. 
On the death of Abdallah '^ El-mehedi," Abd-1-mumen was 
chosen chief of the new faith, or Emir-al-mumenin. He took 
Oran, Fez, and Morocco, and sent a general, Abu-amran, 
across the Straits into Spain (a.d. 1146). This chieftain 
landed near Algeciras, and besieged that city with success. 
Friends from Algarve joined Abu-amran in great numbers. 
'^ The Almohade force," says Conde, '' having taken Algeciras, 
then directed its march upon Gebal 'Faric, which surrendered 
in like manner, when the troops passed on to Xeres. The 



inhabitants of this city did not wait to be attacked, but joined 
the new comers, takino; the oaths of fidelity and alleo^iancc to 
their ruler. Cordova, the stronghold and capital of the 
Almoravide dynasty, succumbed in a.d. 1148, and Abd-1- 
mumen became King of the Arabs on both sides of the 

* of the ferocity with which this war was conducted, at least on one side, that of the 
Almohadcs, the reader may be assured by a single incident, as related by the Arabian 
historians. At the siege of Morocco, by Abd-1-mumen, the Almoravide garrison and 
people suffered the last extremities of hardship and famine, even to cannibalism, ere a 
party of traitors, "certain Christians of Andalus," agreed to admit the besiegers, and 
received in return security for themselves. The Almohade party scaled the walls at 
dawn, on " Saturday, the iSth of the moon Xawal," overcame the faint resistance of 
the few who retained strength among the defenders, and spent the rest of the day, 
" until the going down of the sun," in slaughtering the wretched inhabitants. Among 
the captives waslbrahem, last of the Almoravide kings, a mere youth, whom Abd-1- 
mumen was at first inclined to spare, and ordered his wizir to him in confine- 
ment which should last his life. " But the wizir replied and said, ' O king, do not 
rear a young lion which may ultimately tear us to pieces, and can scarcely fail to become 
dangerous.' When King Ibrahem and his xcqucs (sheiks) were brought into the 
presence of Abd-1-mumen, the youthful sovereign cast himself at the feet of his captor, 
entreating from him the safety of his life, since he had in no wise offended him ; but 
a near kinsman of Ibrahem, a xeque of the Almoravidcs, called the Ameer Syr Ben 
Alhak, was so much displeased by these submissive words, that he spat in the face of 
Ibrahem, and exclaimed, ' Miserable creature ! dost thou imagine, perchance, that thou 
art offxiring thy prayers to a loving and compassionate father who will regard thy 
moaning? Bear thy lot like a man, for this wretch is a monster that may neither be 
moved by tears nor satiated with blood.' These words enraged the king, Abd-1- 
mumen, and, in the heat of his anger, he commanded that the king, Ish.ik Abu 
Ibrahem, with all the Almoravide xeques and generals, should be put to de.ith, 
without sparing the life of any one among them. And v\\ that terrible day, as Aben 
Iza El Raziz relates, all who yet remained of the principal personages were slaughtered 
accordingly. Three days of slaughter in the city followed this first \ and it is averred 
that more than seventy thousand persons were slain by the Almohades. The only one 
of the royal family of the Almoravides who was permitted to live on this occasion was 
a daughter of King Ali, and granddaughter of Jusef Ben Taxfin. Thus rapidly had 
the glory of that invader been brought lo the dust." 



^^^^r|J^T is probable that in Abd-1-mumen Ibn Ali we may 
}ll[ -^ find the true founder of the fame of Gibraltar as 
\ n^J a fortress. It is certain he constructed large works 
^^2isi^<> there, in the year a.d. 1161 (a.h. 555). Thus 
says Conde, quoting an Arabian authority, and in continuation 
of an account of a campaign by this monarch, in Western 
Africa (Funis): '•''The king then departed from Telencen, 
anil arriyed at Tanja (Tangiers) in the moon Dylhagia, of 
the year (a.h.) 555. In that month the fortifications which 
he had commanded his people to construct at Gebal Taric 
were completed, haying been commenced on the 9th day of 
Rebie Primera, in the same year. These works, thus under- 
taken at Abd-1-mumen's command, were conducted under the 
superintendence of his son, Cid Abu Said Othman, Wali of 
Granada, the master by whom they were directed being 
Haji Yaix, the great architect of Andalusia (Andalus). At 
the commencement of the year 556 (a.d. 1162) the king, 
Abd-1-mumen Ibn Ali, passed over to Gebal Fetah, on the 
coast of Spain, which is in fact Gebal Taric. There he 
examined the disposition and construction of that city, and the 
fortifications just completed by his orders, with infinite satis- 
faction, approving of all that had been done. He remained 
there two months, during which he received visits from all the 
walis and generals of Andalusia, in discourse with whom the 
king informed himself of all things relating to the condition of 





Spain -, nay, rather of every province thereof. Every day there 
came numerous xeques and great men to salute their sovereign, 
and among them were many alimes, with certain of the dis- 
tinguished Andalusian poets, who recited to AlHl-l-nu:mcn the 
verses which they had composed to his own praise. One of 
the poets and orators thus presenting himself to the king, 
Abd-1-mumen, was Abu Giaftar Ben Said, of (Granada, who 
was a youth of tender age ; but, having entered the presence 
in company with his father and brothers, who had come to 
salute the kino;, he recited to him the followini^ verses." 
Then follow some verses which none of our readers would 
try to read \ mere fulsome panegyric, such as Arabian bards 
delighted in. The most interestino; of these mav, however, 
being few, be read here : 

" Illustrious Tark's deeds shalt thou renew, 

And noble Muza's — they whose might upheld 

The crescent moon of blest Islam, and threw 
All other radiance into shade. Yc held 

Zeyad and Ben Nosseyr, no power but knew 
The lustre of his might, whose arm hath felled 

The Christians of these times — our potent L(>rd j 

Nor could your blades compete with Abd-1-mumen's sword." 

It is interestino: at all times to recover the name of an illus- 
trious architect and engineer ; for such the builder of Gibraltar 
undoubtedly appeared in the eyes of his contemporaries. This 
Haji Yaix, who, by the way, had more than one way of 
spelling his name, was the designer of those extraordinary 
machines which were constructed at Cordova by the command 
of Abd-1-mumen. The galleries of the great mosque at 
Morocco, which was constructed by the King of the Almo- 
hades, were his work ; these being intended for the secret 
approach of the king. The inimhar^ or pulpit, of admirable 
workmanship, and, above all, the great apartment upon 

• (. 

wheels, which could be moved from one part to another of 
the mosque (r), with wings which extended on hinges, and 
of which the wheels moved noiselessly and with complete 
certainty, to receive him and his attendants, being, as it 
appears from the by no means clear account, a sort of move- 
able chapel or pew. The chronicler distinctly leads us to 
infer that it was also locomotive, and obedient to the will of 

the king. 

A poet thus describes these machines : 

" More shalt thou see — 
Machines that move to meet him as he nears them 
Attentive to his wish, and stealing forth 
Silently to receive their potent lord. 
Nay, when he turns to leave them, they retire, 
Anticipating still the wish he forms." 

Whatever might have been the true nature of these curious 
in\ entions, there can be no doubt that their author, the engineer 
of Gibraltar, was a man of extraordinary reputation in his 
time, for the writer oi the above verses, speaking again of the 
same machines, ascribes to him almost miraculous powers ; 
thus he is addressino; some one who mi2;ht be called to the 
court of Alb-1-mumen : 

" There, secret most prodigious! shalt thou find 
Machines that reason, or that move as beings 
Endowed with sense and will. Portals are there 
Of fair proportion, opening as the step 
Of their known lord approaches them. They haste 
To give him entrance, nor refuse the same 
To such as he hath graced to follow him, 
His nobles and vi/.iers." 

On this very important point in the history of our fortress, 
the reader will welcome another account of the mode in which 
the buildings were carried out, taken from one who writes too 
minutely and circumstantially to be wholly incorrect in his 



We find Al-makkari describing the construction of a fortress 
on the top of the Rock, by order of Abd-1-mumcn Ibn Ali, 
who landed at Gebal Taric (Gibraltar), which from that day 
was called the Mountain of Victory. He traced out the building 
with his own hands, and remained on the spot for two months, 
and when that time had elapsed, left his son Abu Said to com- 
plete the building. One of the architects was Haji Ya-vsh 
(the Haji Yaix of Conde) the geometrician, and an excellent 
engineer, who is said to have constructed many valuable 
machines during his stay in the place, and, among them, a 
large windmill, '^ which stood on the very top of the moun- 
tain.'' This was in a.d. 1162, and refers to the erection of 
what must havQ been designed for a keep or central tower 
higher up on the Rock than any previous erections had 
stood. This was doubtless the fort referred to bv Portillo, 
about the commencement of the last centurv, as havino- 
resisted the attacks of Alfonso XI. and the Count de Niebla, 
and only yielding to the latter on account oi the starving of 
the garrison. '' It was," says Ayala, '*• built on a high part 
of the Rock to command the city or ancient town, and 
consisted at first, as is customary with Moorish castles, of 
three walls., stretching down to the arsenal on the beach, 
and on its southern 2;ate is an inscription, showin"- the 
date of its erection. Of its ancient precincts there remain 
only, said the latter writer, referring to his own time, the 
Tower of Homage on the first wall, some of the foundation of 
the second, and part of the third on the north side, which has 
served to protect the town from the shot fired from the Spanish 
lines, and which bears numerous marks of the ilKtreatment of 
their balls. ^' It has within," says Portillo, '' a tower called 
' Calahorra,' which tradition says was built by Hercules ; 
in front a redoubt called Giralda, of amazing strength, and 

! I 





capable of containing sufficient numbers to defend the 
place, as was seen in the year 1333, when besieged by Don 
Alfonso XL, King of Castile. 

The date of the works of Yaix, or Haji Ya-ysh of Al- 
makkari, may be fixed on the reader's memor)^ by means of 
the following events, and the associations they may invoke. It 
was the year of Becket's resignation of the chancellorship of 
England ; the year before the foundation of Notre Dame, 
Paris, when Alfonso H., of Arragon, was reigning, the 
twenty-sixth year of Louis V'll. of France ; the tenth year of 
Malcolm IV. of Scotland ; and the ninth year of Richard I. 
of Englanil. 


\ I 




f>^^%3ROM the third quarter of the twelfth century to 
^— W^>^? the end of the next stage in our historical 
(*)li!^^^r account is a period of considerable length in 
(sJ^i^^ time. Very important changes had during the 

interval taken effect in Spain. This is true not only of the 
Spaniards, but of their Moorish antagonists ; and of the latter 
in their relationship to the African Arabs, or, more truly to 
write. Moors ; for, as the reader may readily conceive from 
what has been said before, the Arabs gave the impetus which 
set the fierce tribes of Northern Africa in motion to overpass 
the Straits of Gibraltar, but were themselves comparatively few 
in number. That end had come to pass which might have 
been expected to accrue from such a state of things as this, as 
well as from the distance, then so difficult to traverse, between 
the head of the Moslem power at Damascus — and its succeed- 
ing metropolitan cities, and the far west of the Peninsula. In 
fact, the Moorish power in Spain was practically independent 
of the Commander of the Faithful — in much the same position 
with regard to that nominal suzerein as the Egyptian rulers 
have been to the Porte. The Moorish power in Spain was 
far more intimately connected with its neighbours on the 
African coast ; indeed some of the minor and later dynasties 
of the country held both sides of the Straits, and reigned at 
Morocco and in Granada with equal powers. As with the 
Almoravides and Almohades, the cfiects of help from one side 











«— « 







^JY^X^^^^ROM the third quarter of the twelfth century to 
the end of the next stage in our historical 
account is a period of considerable length in 
time. Very important changes had during the 
interval taken effect in Spain. This is true not only of the 
Spaniards, but of their Moorish antagonists j and of the latter 
in their relationship to the African Arabs, or, more truly to 
write, Moors ; for, as the reader may readily conceive from 
what has been said before, the Arabs gave the impetus which 
set the fierce tribes of Northern Africa in motion to overpass 
the Straits of Gibraltar, but were themselves comparatively few 
in number. That end had come to pass which might have 
been expected to accrue from such a state of things as this, as 
well as from the distance, then so difficult to traverse, between 
the head of the Moslem power at Damascus — and its succeed- 
ing metropolitan cities, and the far west of the Peninsula. In 
fact, the Moorish power in Spain was practically independent 
of the Commander of the Faithful — in much the same position 
with regard to that nominal suzerein as the Egyptian rulers 
have been to the Porte. Fhe Moorish power in Spain was 
far more intimately connected with its neighbours on the 
African coast ; indeed some of the minor and later dynasties 
of the country held both sides of the Straits, and reigned at 
Morocco and in Granada with equal powers. As with the 
Almoravides and Almohades, the effects of help from one side 



















to the other of the Straits were not always beneficial to the 

The changes which had taken effect in the position of the 
Christians in Spain were even more momentous than in those 
of their neighbours and enemies. Kingdom after kingdom 
had been founded, and a very large proportion of the Peninsula 
was a2:ain in the hands of the descendants of the Visigoths. 
The power of Pelayas and his descendants had increased pro- 
digiously ; the domain of the Asturias, which the former 
founded about A.D. 713, was consolidated by Alfonso I. in 
739, and Leon became a kingdom by including Castile. 
Arragon became independent about this time, and, on the 
Moorish side, Abd-e-rahman established the royalty of Cordova. 
Navarre became a kingdom in 970. 7"he Ommiades were 
expelled from Cordova in 1091, when the Almoravide dynasty 
began in that place, and these were supplanted about half a 
century later by the Almohadcs, as we have told ; who in turn 
yielded up their capital to P'erdinand III., of Castile, in 1236; 
and the Almohades gave place to the Beni Merines, who set 
up the kingdom of Granada, properly so called. In 1247 
Ferdinand III. took Seville, and the boundaries of the Moslemah 
in Spain were so far narrowed on all sides that it was easy to 
foresee that the year was soon to arrive which would become 
memorable on account of the total expulsion of this people 
from the Peninsula, of which, it must be owned, they obtained 
possession on strangely easy terms ; for never was a conquest 
of such immense importance, including changing the fliith (?) 
of by far the greater portion of its inhabitants, made more 
rapidly, or at a cheaper rate of blood and trouble to the victors 
Blood and trouble were the sole items of the price of Spain 
to the Moslems ; of cash they gave nought. So evident 
was the coming fall uf the Moorish power in this country that 





we find the historians predicting it long before it came about ; 
lamenting their coming loss of the fair palaces, rich cities, 
great public works, and all that garden of the world where this 
noble race had laboured through centuries of possession to 
such splendid effect, making it anew the earthly Paradise 
which the Romans found. Heavy were the curses which 
these patriotic writers loaded upon the heads of the mail-clad 
hosts of Castile, and the other Christian kingdoms ; deep was 
the interest which their rulers took in the many changes of 
what they did not fail to call the '' infidel" (non-Moslem) 
powers. So early as the tenth century Abd-e-rahman helped 
Sancho I., the Fat, to recover his throne. The chancres and 
counter-changes of Leon and Castile, the vicissitudes of 
Arragon, even of Navarre, all engrossed their Moslem neigh- 
bours. We find frequent alliances between Moorish and 
Christian powers. Even the Cid, that supposed mirror of 
chivalry, was, as we saw, no inefficient aid to one of the 
hated Moorish kings. Notwithstanding all these events, which 
the xMoorish historians duly recorded and judged about, there 
was one misfortune, nearer perhaps to their hearts than any 
other, at which they did not guess; this was the almost total 
loss of Arab learning in the Peninsula. Moorish arts, sciences, 
and skill of all kinds were destined to a hite which was almost 
as destructive as that which fell upon the race. 

We have seen the rise of the Almoravides, their fall before 
the Almohades ; the third chaniie is now at hand in the 
passing of the power of the latter dynasty to the tribe of the 
Merincs. This new power rose in Africa, the seat of its 
predecessors. The Arabian historians who iruide us now 
tell that this people had origin in Abu Bekar, a sheikh or 
xcque in the land of Zaub, in Western Africa, who came 
with Yakub Al-manzor to Spain, and fought in the l)attle of 


Alarcos, a.d. 1295, and died in that year (a.h. 592). His 
grandson, Abu Sa'id, became Ameer, or Emir, of his tribe, 
and fought strenuously against the Alarabians of Almagreb, 
to whom he owed blood feud of a terrible kind. He extended 
his power over many tribes, taking tribute from or consoli- 
dating them with his own people (a.h. 614, or a.d. 1218). 
Abu Sa'id received service and tribute of PYz and Alcazar, 
and reigned twenty-three years,^^ until a.d. 1240, or a.h. 640. 
The successor of Abu Sa'id was his brother Abu Maurref 
Mohannned, to whom the Merine sheikhs took the oaths of 
fidelity and allegiance, swearing to make war upon all whom 
he should attack, and defend all whom he should take under 
his protection. This ruler continued in the steps of his pre- 
decessor, and enlarged the authority of his place. He was 
victorious in many battles, and added new tribes to those who 
followed his banners. His decorations and ornaments were 
said to ha\'e b.en armour and weapons ; war, his sport. 
'• Once only was he defeated by the Almohades, then he died 
fighting." 'i1uis it happened : the chief of the Almohades, 
Aim Sa'id, sent against the Aierines a force of twenty thousand 
men, comprising Alarabians, and '' certain valiant generals of 
the Christians." Hie two powers met on the borders of Fez, 
and iought obstinately, so that the battle lasted till near the 
going down of the sun, when Maurref Mohammed encountered 
a noble and brave Christian, who thrust his lance through his 
body ; a mishap which is alleged to have been due to the 

* The Abu Sa'id of Condc is the Abu Abdillah of Gayangos, his name being, in 
the mode of spelling adopted by the former, Abu Said Abdallah Ben Ozman Ben 
Abu Chalid. It is almost needless to say that, with regard to the spelling of Arabic 
and Moorish names, we, with one or two exceptions, adopt that of the authorities from 
whom we quote. '1 he sound of the words will prevent any difficulty of identifying 
the same man, even, as very rarely liappens here, if he is represented by two 
modes uf spcHinjj hii, name. 





exhausted state of the Alcrinc comniandcr's horse. After this 
the Mcrincs fled and were utterly disor2;anised, a.d. 1242. 
In the year following this, Mohammed I. of Granada gave up 
Jaen to Ferdinand III. of Castile, and placed his kingdom 
under the protection of this Christian monarch. So much 
change had come about in Spain ! I'his protectorate does not 
seem to have lasted long, or been lucky for the Granadians. 

The command of the Beni Alerincs next devolved upon 
his brother, Abu Bekar Yahye, an ambidextrous man, who 
could throw a lance from each hand at the same moment with 
infinite force and ease [C:nde). The next chief was Abu 
Jusef, the fourth son of Abdallah Ben Abu Chalid, a terrible 
enemy to the Almohadcs, ••' whom he cut up as the husband- 
man roots up weeds, without leaving trace or sign thereof." 
P'ez had fallen to the Alerines before this. Morocco became 
theirs in a.h. 678, or a.d. 1278. Here we will f)r the pre- 
sent leave this powerful tribe or confederation of tribes under 
ruthless rulers, coming, as they did, from the desert to conquer 
district after district of Almagreb, and to be the third great 
Mohammedan wave, so to say, w^hich was destined to pour 
past Gibraltar to the conquest of Andalus. It is evident that 
the successive entrances of the Almoravides, Almohades and 
Beni xMerines, were as truly conquests of Spanish territory as 
was that of Aluza and Taric. It is equally clear that each of 
these tremendous human waves was weaker than its immediate 
torerunner had been ; accordingly it spread less broadly. 

We have next, from Ibnu Khaldun, this account of the 
position of affliirs in Gibraltar and its neighbourhood in the 
year 1273 and soon afterwards, showing how the new power 
came into Spain. The Beni Merines had built their empire 
in Africa upon the ruins of that of the Almohades. One 
of the most powerful monarchs of this new dynasty was 


Ya'-kub Ibn 'Abdi-1-hakk (Abu Jacob Ben Abd-1-hac), who 
received an embassy from the Moors of Andalus (Cordova), 
begging aid against the Christians under Alfonso X. of Castile. 
1 his was granted with good effect. Thus, in the year 672 
(beginning July 17, a.d. 1273), Alohammed II. (Al-fakih, or 
The Theologian), hearing that the Christians were about to 
carry war into his domiinons, sent an embassy to the before- 
mentioned Ya'-kub, Sultan of Fez, or Western Africa, 
soliciting aid against the infidels ; and that sovereign, having 
graciously acceded to his request, sent first his own son 
at the head of an army, and himself followed shortly after. 
Having taken Algeciras from the hands of a rebel who had 
gained possession of it, he converted it into a receptacle for 
his warriors. Mohammed, moreover, gave up to the African 
sovereign Tarifi and the castles pertaining to it; and, when 
everything had been arranged, the two kings united their 
forces, put to flight Don Nuno (Gonzales de Lara), the 
General of the Christians, dispersed his troops, and routed 
everywhere the army of the Castilian king (a.d. 1275, Sep- 
tember 8), sending large bodies of cavalry to make predatory 
incursions into his dominions. At last, throu^^h fear of the 
Africans, Mohammed made his peace with the Christians, and 
\a'-kub returned to Africa. In the course of time, however, 
the kings of (iranada recovered Algeciras, Tarifa, Ronda, and 
all the fortresses which Alohammed had given up to the Beni 

There is no doubt that, among the places thus pledged and 
afterwards recovered, was Gibraltar ; it was reckoned amoncr 
the dependencies of Algeciras. Inhere appears also to be 
some little confusion in the account of the ^Moorish historian 
we have just quoted. Abu Ya'-kub, or in common writing 
Abu Jacob, was one of the sons of Abu Jusef, and the voyage 




when Algcciras was occupied, was the second of those made by 
the Beni Mcrincs into Spain. Abu Jus.-f had preceded Abu 
Jacob three years before that event. In the second voyage 
they came together, also another son, Abu Zeyan Mendel ; 
at this period the walls of Algeciras were reinstated (a.h. 68i, 
or A.D. 1282). Successive incursions of the Heni Alerines 
had almost ruined the country of the (Canadians, and they 
hardly knew where to turn for aid ; hence the kings seem to 
have sought to play the Castilians against their co-religionists, 
and vice versa^ exactly as the temporary state of affairs dictated. 
As mi"-ht be expected, and we shall learn further on, the union 
with Christians and the old enemies of their race was anything 
but agreeable to the Moslem people in Spain ; they rebelled 
against their so-called apostate rulers, and ultimately placed 
the Beni Merines in their seats. 

In the year of the Hegira 685 (a.d. 1285-6), Abu Juscf 
died at Algcciras, after a reign of twenty-eight years and a half. 
Abu Jacob succeeded him, and died in A.H. 706, or a.d. 1306. 
Abu Sa'id came next, and had but a brief reign of one year 
and a quarter. He died in 1308, and was followed by Abu 
Rebia Zuleman Ben Amir Abu Amir Abdallah, son of Abu 
Jacob. 7'his king captured Ceuta (1308), and died in a.h. 
709-10 (1309). l^hen came Abu Sa'id Othman, who reigned 
until A.H. 731 (a.d. 1330). It was during his rule over the 
Merines that the next event in the history of Gibraltar to 
which we shall direct the reader's attention came to pass. For 
this purpose we return to the authority of the Moorish 
historian and industrious compiler which we have so often 
quoted. These are the histories of the first regular siege of 




^oT^'lT wr.s whilst the Fortress was in the possession of 
y^A \ the Merines of Africa, as before stated, that the 
' "" Castilians, in A.H. 708 (1308-9) profiting by the 
absence of part of the African garrison, invested 
Gibraltar, and made themselves masters of it without much 
difficultv.'^ Another Aloslem historian writes of this matter 
thus: ''In the year 709 (beginning June, a.d. 1309), the 
King of Castile, Hei\mdo (Fei'dinand IV.), laid siege to 
Algcciras. He remained before that city from the 2ist day 
of Safar to the end of Shaban, when, desparing of reducing 
that place, he raised the siege, though not without making 
himself master of Gibraltar." 

ITe Christian accounts of this affair are more complete 
than either of the above, and inform us of its history with 
great minuteness. We condense from Bell's version of Ayala 
the following description of the causes and results of the matter 
in question. Mohammed IV. of Granada made a truce for 
the nonce with the Christians, and when this expired the 
latter were eager for new wars. 

As soon as Ferdinand IV. was enabled by the termination 
of his truce (1309) with Mohammed IV., Abu Abdallah of 
Granada, to direct his arms against the infidels, he laid siege 
to Aliieciras. Findino^ the besiep;cd received continued sue- 

Al-makkaii, vol. ii. p. 355. 



cours from Gibraltar, the king determined to get possession of 
the Rock, for which purpose he detached Alonzo Perez de 
Guzman to deprive the enemy of this support. '' Accompa- 
nied by numerous great personages, to assist as well with their 
council as their arms, Guzman resolved on a simultaneous 
attack on all sides ; and leaving the Archbishop of Seville and 
Don Juan Nunez to attack on the north front, he landed the 
remainder of the forces, and, gaining the heights that command 
the castle, immediately assaulted it. On this occasion was 
erected the tower of Don Alonzo (so named from Alonzo de 
Guzman, and not from the eleventh Castilian king of that 
name), and with such diligence and strength was it con- 
structed, beino- furnished with wide and substantial walls, on 
which were placed two battering engines, that immense stones 
were immediately discharged against the Calahorra, against the 
walls of the castle, and against the town beyond it in which 
was the chief population. Although by these means the 
houses, the town, and the numerous defences were battered to 
the ground, the Moors were not intimidated. Only eleven 
hundred in number, and straitened on all sides, they continued 
to repair the works, defending the place most gallantly, and 
retarded the victory a whole month. At length, after a sangui- 
nary and obstinate contest, they were obliged to surrender, 
stipulating only that they should be allowed their Hbcrt}-, :irul 
be transported to Africa. Thus ended, in the year 1309, the 
first siei^e of Gibraltar." 

Don Alonzo hastened to communicate this pleasing intelli- 
gence to the king, that he might personally take possession ot 
a place of the strength of which he seemed to be altogether 
ignorant •, for on entering it, says Ayala, and observing the 
peculiarity of its situation, with uplifted hands he gave thanks 
to Providence for the reduction untler his dominion ot a Rock 



and Castle so important, and almost impregnable. He rebuilt 
the walls and strengthened the fortifications, made provision 
for the reception of shipping in a harbour which he armed if 
he did not found it ; for this king seems to have been among 
the first to see the importance of Gibraltar as a naval station. 
This was very considerable, even in that early time, and we 
have a hint of one of its chief claims to consideration in the 
charter of privileges which the king granted to the town, 
whereby he allowed anchorage dues to be paid to it the same 
as in the port of Seville, excepting only *■' galleys or armed 
vessels that navigate in the service of God against the enemies 
of the holy Faith.'* Free of toll or anchorage dues lay in the 
port of Gibraltar the galleys of the knights of Rhodes — free as 
the king's own ships. The port must have been of inesti- 
mable service to these knights, and their great galleys lay 
safely under the walls of the town, or within the old Mole, 
which was guarded by the strong tower that Ferdinand IV., 
among the other additions which he made, built at the 
extremity of the Mole. 

Further, of the charter of King Ferdinand, the first Chris- 
tian (jwner of the P\)rtress of (Gibraltar, Avala, with other 
documents, quotes at length a declaration of Alfonso XL, 
citing a similar one by his father, Ferdinand IV., which is 
dated 13 10, and grants freedom from toll, excise, watching, 
castle-service, ^'c, to all inhabitants of Gibraltar, also from 
customs. " Aioreover we order and direct that all those who 
shall proceed to Gibraltar and shall be inhabitants and dwellers 
therein, whether swindlers, thieves, murderers, or other evil- 
doers whatsoever, or women escaped from their husbands, or 
in any other manner, shall be freed or secured from the punish- 
ment of death ; and that those who shall live and dwell in the 
town or it^ territory shall neither be threatened nor have 



injury done to them ; not being traitors to their lord, breakers 
of the king's peace, or one who shall have carried ofF his lord's 
wife, for these shall not be protected, but punished as they 
deserve." Moors, taken beyond the range of a cross-bow 
from the town, were to belong to the captor, the king's dues 
being paid ; if captured within that distance, but one-third of 
the value of the captive was to belong to the captor, " accord- 
ino- to the custom of other castle warriors in our kingdoms." 
The place was made a free port for all. Christians, Moors, or 
Jews, to buy and sell in, free of charge. All malefactors, 
except traitors, who resided a year and a day in the town, 
were to be pardoned and freed from justice, except for crimes 
committed in Gibraltar. 

Ferdinand IV. gave the charge of his new acquisition, the 
key of Spain, into the hands of Alfonso Ferdinand de Mendoza, 
who thus became the fir^t Chri'^tlan governor of Gibraltar, and 
with it supplied that captain with a garrison of three hundred 
men, besides those who did '' duty in the watch-towers ;" also 
furnished them with ample pay, and even provision for their 
children. The seal which the fortress now employs was 
granted by this monarch, and is in itself significant of the 
opinion which he held about it, to wit, a castle of three towers, 
embattled, and having a key pendant at its gate, to indicate at 
once the strencrth of the place, and its relationship to the rest 
of the king's dominions. Many privileges, besides those we 
have quoted, were granted to the place for the public service ; 
thus, a share in the royal tunny fisheries, one-third ot the 
profit of the salt pans in the neighbourhood, and rents of 
shops, furnished a revenue. 

The perilous nature of the lives which had to be led by 
folks in Gibraltar, subject as they were to attacks by the 
Moors, who were at hand both by land and sea, are now-a- 



days hard to appreciate in fulness, but might have been esti- 
mated but a few generations since, when descents on the 
Spanish coasts were by no means uncommon and almost, 
barring rescue, invariably led to slavery, if not death, in Africa. 
Gibraltar itself was open to attack and possession by the 
Corsairs at a much later date than that which is commonly 
supposed to include the duration of their anomalous power. 

The Moors seem to have had an impression that Gibraltar had 
been surrendered by Mohammed, or its retention connived at by 
him. When it was captured in 1309 by Ferdinand, the siege of 
Algeciras was soon afterwards abandoned ; as well on account 
of the difficulty of taking the place, as of the terms of the 
Moorish knig, who offered the towns of Belniar and (^lesada, 
and one hundred thousand crowns if Ferdinand would relinquish 
the siege. We may readily understand that Gibraltar, being 
in the Spaniards' hands, Algeciras was of comparatively minor 
importance to the holders of the more powerful fortress. Also, 
there was to be considered the uncertainty of getting posses- 
sion of Al'^eciras, even at an immense cost of money and blood. 
Ferdinand therefore ac^reed to these terms of the Moslem 
monarch, and abandoned the of Algeciras. It is alleged 
that this surrender of territorv and money to the Christians 
reacted a<iainst the Moorish khvr insomuch as his brother, 
Nas'r, conspired against him, and he w^as compelled to abdicate 
by a tumult in the city, in the course of which it is noteworthy 
that the historian refers especially to the destruction of books 
at the <Hittinii of the house of the Wizir Abii Abdillah, 
^' which was attacked by the mob, and gutted of all its valuable 
contents, besides the treasures which he had amassed in books, 
jewels, w^eapons, ^'c, which God alone could estimate." 
This story does not support the account given by Ayala, who 
makes the dethronement of Mohammed to have happened in 

i I 



April, 1309, and the siege of Algeciras to have been begun by 
Ferdinand IV., in A.H. 709, i.e. after June 10 in that year, 
and, consequently, not in the reign of Alohammed III., but in 
that of his dethroner and brother Nas'r ; it was not until the 
February of 13 11 the rumour spread that Mohamnud was 
dead, and his body thrown into a hsh-pond in the garden ot 
the palace. This was after an attempt at rebellion by Abii 
Sa'id, a descendant of the founder of the Nasserite dynasty in 
Cordova, who proclaimed his son, Abu-l-Walid Ismail, as king 
(February i8th, 1310). In November, 1310, Nas'r had a ht 
of apoplexy, and his death was rumoured to have followed 
this attack, so the friends of Alohammcd III. persuaded him 
to claim the crown again (November, 13 10 , but they were 
unfortunately hasty for themselves, for '^ on entering Granada, 
what was their astonishment to hear that Nas'r had recovered 
from his illness. This led to closer confinement for Moham- 
med ; his death, and the rumours to which we have referred 
of the mode of disposing of his body. It appears, however, 
from a further statement of the author to whom we p.ow 
refer, that he did not die, by whatever means, until January, 
26, 1314. We have next to consider the second siege of 
Gibraltar, which took place in the year 1315, under the com- 
mand of Abd-1-Walid, or Ismail Ben PY^ag, another zealous 
Mohammedan who strove in vain to retard the advance of the 
Christian power into the lands of his people. He succeeded 
Nas'r on the throne of Granada in 131 3, and was nephew of 
that monarch. 

To show how these great changes came about Is so Impor- 
tant that we shall be excused if we trace them by other aid 
than the above. 





j^jr^ NOTHER account of these transactions is more 
//\\ % complete than the above. The advances of the 
C-7/^ di-'* Christians into the Andalusian territory had been 
Kiji^c^n-u continuous and successful. In 1293 Sancho IV., 
Kin^'- of Castile, kiid siege — so far had the progress of recovery 
been c.irrled — to 'Farifa ; assaulting it by sea and land, and 
with m:ichiries oi many kinds: he entered the place by force of 
arms, slew a iireat number of the inhabitants, and appointed 
Alfonso Perez de Cjuzman governor of the city. This is, w^e 
believe, the first appearance in the neighbourhood of Gibraltar 
of one of the family to which this commander belonged, 
a family which thereafter distinguished itself through many 
generations, and held the Rock and Fortress almost indepen- 
dently of the Spanish kings, keeping for centuries their grasp 
firnily upon them, and resisting attempts of more than one kind 
to relax that hold. Of this matter we shall see more presently. 
Juan of Castile, brother of Sancho IV.— following in a 
reverse mode the practice of Count Julian against King 
Roderic — having a quarrel with his brother, crossed over to 
Africa and made a friend of Abu Jacob Ben Jusef before- 
nair.eJ, and induced him to send five thousand horse and a pro- 
portion of foot soldiers to recapture 'Farifa, which he assured his 
new ally would be an easy matter.* In this, however, he 

* Ojndi, jMit iv. c. xii. 





was mistaken, notwithstanding that Juan set the son of Alfonso 
Perez de Guzman enchained before the walls of the city, 
threatening; his death if it was not surrendered. But, as the 
Moorish historian wrote, with a grim approval of such forti- 
tude, which is chivalric from the pen of an enemy : ^^ The 
Alcalde uttered no word of reply. He silently unbound his 
sword from his girdle, threw it down to the prince for the ful- 
filment of his threat, and retired from the wall. Then the 
Moslemah, furious at the contempt thus expressed, struck ofi' 
the head of the youth, and, placing it on one of their m;ichines, 
cast it on the walls, that the father might not be able to doubt 
his loss." The Spanish story is, that Juan of Castile stabbed 
the lad w^th his own hand. Before such constancy as this 
the Moors and their Christian allies retired defeated to 
Alireciras. The capture of Tarifa had been made from the 
Moors of Africa, in whose hands it had been placed under 
circumstances which have been already described. When 
Sancho IV. obtained possession of the place, his ally, 
Mohammed II., of Granada, claimed restitution to himself of 
the conquest, notwithstanding that it had been ceded to Abu 
Jusef by Mohammed I., and held as an appanage to the 
African dominion since that time. Sancho replied to this 
simple request that the place was his by conquest, and that, if 
ancient rights were to be alleged against the chances of war, 
he might claim the whole of Granada. Upon this, quarrels 
came about between the failing people of Granada and their 
irrowinor Christian neio^hbours ; incursions followed from both 
sides, and Sancho took Quesada ; '^ but he did not long 
enjoy his triumph and the fruits of his cruelty, seeing that 
God the Omnipotent cast him into Gehennah no long tinie 
thereafter i" and the Granadians reconquered the fortresses he 
had captured on their frontier, repeopling them v/ith Moslems 

where Sancho had expelled the inhabitants of that faith. 
Amonir these places was Alcabdat. 

The capture of Tarifa discouraged Abu Jacob for the time 
in his Andalusian enterprises, so that he shortly after treated 
with Mohammed and sold him Algeciras itself, which thus 
returned to the kingdom of Granada ; he also endeavoured to 
buy back Tarifa from the son of Sancho IV., who would, it 
is alleo;ed, have sold it, but for the interposition of the queen 
and the De Cnizmans. He then attacked the troops of the 
latter, defeated them with great loss (a.d. 1299), and besieged 
Tarifa again, but, notwithstanding his energetic efforts, without 
success. He attacked Jacn soon after this with like fortune. 
He died while still in the enjoyment of good health, '' and in 
the act of prayer with infinite quietude and tranquillity ; no 
mark of suffering on his countenance, save only on the eye- 
lashes there was a trace of weeping, as when one hath shed 
abundant tears." 

The sons of iMohammed II. were Mohammed III. — Abn 
Abdillah, Feraz or Ferag, who conspired against the last, and 
Nas'r, who has been before mentioned.' Abu Jusef Jacob 
Ben Abd-1-hac was lord of Almagreb at this time— the victor 
of the Almohades, who made incursions to Andalus as before 
stated, and died at Alo;cciras in 1286. Then came Abu 
Jacob Jusef, who voyaged with his father into Andalus and 
took the strong places of which we have already written. 
The Castilian kings were Alfonso X., Sancho IV., and 
Ferdinand IV. In 1302 Nas'r rebelled against Mohammed III., 
and wds defeated. In the same year the King of Granada 
proposed to buy Tarifa of Ferdinand IV., or to change it for 
another place. These proposals were refused. In 1305 
Mohammed, bent probably on retaliating upon the African 
Moors some of their ravages in Granada, sent Feraz Ben 








Nas'r to Africa with a powerful army, which assembled at 
Algeciras, besieged and took Ceuta, with a great treasure 
which was concealed there (Conde). Next year Jusef Ben 
Jacob, of the Bcni Merines, was assassinated in a mysterious 
manner, and Abdallah Wen Jusef succeeded him. In 1309 
the siege of Algeciras, which led to the capture of Gibraltar 
by Ferdinand IV., took place, and Mohammed attempted its 
relief while Sulieman Abcn Rabic, in alliance with James II. 
of Arragon, recaptured Ccuta from Alohammed III. The 
King of Castile, moreover, captured Gibraltar; and his neigh- 
bour of Granada, being thus hardly pressed, came to the terms 
with Ferdinand which placed Algeciras in safety for the time, 
and left the Rock in his hands. 

The rebellion of Nas'r, accompanied by that tumult in 
Granada which more than one historian laments, because 
of the destruction of books which ;iccom[xinicd it, and the 
abdication of Mohammed III., were followed by the acces- 
sion of Nas'r, a much more vigorous sovereign than his 
brother, whose offers for peace with Ferdinand IV. were 
rejected haughtily. Nas'r, arming himself against the King 
of Barcelona (Arragon), caused the latter to raise the siege of 
Almeria, which was on the point of surrendering (130 j) ; the 
rebellion of Abd-1-Sa'id further disturbed the new occupant 
of the Granadian throne ; this was ineffectual, but the false 
step of Mohammed III. in returning to the city of Gianada 
on the news of Nas'r's death, and the conduct of the father of 
the former rebel, showed how unsafe was the new dominion, 
troubled as it was externally by the warlike acts of Ferdinand IV . 

From the last, however, the Moslem power was soon to 
be delivered. He died before Malaga, and when about to 
besiege that fortress. There is a picturesque legend of the 
death of this kino;, which deserves attention from the students 


of the history of Gibraltar and Its neighbourhood, or biographers 
of the famous men who have been connected with it. He 
might well be called the Taric of the Christian hold, as he 
was the Christian founder of the place. 

The legend is that two brothers of the family of Carvazal 
were condemned to death by him, on account of an accusation 
that they had murdered one of their own friends. The 
accused declared themselves wholly innocent of the crime, 
made the most strenuous efix)rts, and used the utmost entreaties 
to avert their doom. Ferdinand paid no heed to this defence, 
but ordered immediate execution of his sentence. As the 
brothers were being led from his presence, to fall beneath 
the sword, they, with one voice and in terrible words, sum- 
moned the alleged false judge to the tribunal of God, and 
averred that he would appear there within thirty days of their 
own departure. Dying, they persisted in declaring their 
innocence, and repeated the awful call ; the king thence- 
forth has been called '' The Summoned," because, actually 
dying within the period thus indicated, men believed that he 
departed in obedience to the voices of the dead.^ 

Hie stage of life was thus cleared of Mohammed and 
Ferdinand, Nas'r and Alfonso reigned in their steads, both, 
now — at least, legally. Nas'r — as to whom there was not 
wanting charges that he had pushed, or caused to be pushed, 
Mohammed into the palace fish-pond — set up a gorgeous 
mausoleum in his honour, with a tear-invoking inscription of 
the most pathetic and laudatory kind. 7^hus he was described 
as the virtuous Sultan, one of the excellent kings, wise In the 
fear of Ciod, amiable, austere, humble, the hand of justice, 
path of confidence, light of the state, portal of the law, 

* Mariana accounts for the death of this king by his having over-eaten himself. 






friend of humanity and religion, illustrious, defender of his 
people, clement king and prince of the Moslemah ; and, with 
a finer irony, " the irresistible conqueror of the unbelievers. 
May God sanctify his spirit, and refresh his sepulchre with 
the delicious cup of benignity, and exalt him to the highest 
mansions of the just." ! [Conde.) 

There was no peace in Spain, notwithstanding these changes 
and the youth and energy of NasV, who wa*^, at his accession, 
twenty-three years of age. Three years after that event, he 
sought the friendship of Pedro, Prince of Castile, who was 
expected to succeed Ferdinand IV'., solicitations which were 
fortunate f)r a brief while. In A.H. 713, or a.d. 1312-1 j, 
Feraz Ben Nas'r, Wali of Malaga, an almost independent 
prince, father of Abu Sa'id, who was called Abd-1-Walid, 
fomented rebellions in the State, and the latter begun 
war against the king, his uncle, took some castles, among 
them that which ^^ stands in front of the Alhambra," and the 
Alcazar of Granada; he besieged Nas'r in the Alhambra; how- 
ever the latter besought aid of Pedro of Casiile, who was then 
at Cordova.* He entreated this pririce to come without 
delay to his aid. '' Pedro '' savs the Moorish historian, 
"• began to march for that purpose, but not swiftly enough tor 
Nas'r, was compelled to yield, give up his kingdom, and 
behold in that misfortune a repetition of what had befallen his 
brother by his own means." He retired to Gaudix, which was 
restored to him, and died there A. 11. 722^ a.d. 1321. Pedro 
continued his journey, and captured Rute from the Aloors. 

The conqueror of Nas'r was a man of great note for us, 
for he reigned twelve years, and besieged Gibraltar. His full 


* Of Pedro of Castile we shall hear curiously in refcrciKc to Gibraltar, and tlie 
manner of his death. 

Style is thus given by the authorities : Ismail, the son of Feraz 
Ben Nas'r Ben Ismail Ben Mohammed Ahmed Ben Moham- 
med Ben Hasain Ben Acail El Ansari El Chazezi, called 
Abd-1-Walid and Abu-1-Sa'id, son of the Wali of Malaga, and 
nephew, by a sister, of Nas'r. He is sometimes described as 
Ismail Ben Feraz. Apart from warlike qualities Ismail was 
a strict follower of the Alahommedan law. When tired of 
hearing the disputes of the theologians attached to his court 
(polemics seem to have been rife in the Granadian palaces) he 
is reported to have said that to believe the omnipotence of 
God required no reasoning ; as to his own arguments, " They 
are here, said he, laying his hand upon his sword." He 
enforced the prohibition against wine, much increased the 
taxes on Christians in his domains, and compelled them to 
wear a distinct costume. 

It was in the year of the Hegira 716, a.d. 1315, that Ismail 
learnt how the Kinii of Castile was sendin<2; a lar<ie convov of 
stores to Gaudix, where Nas'r then resided and kept up friendly 
relations with his fellow ruler, Alfonso XL, who, since 1312, 
had succeeded to the throne of Castile. Now, whether this 
despatch of provisions was contrary to treaty, or otherwise the 
cause of uneasiness to Ismail, is uncertain to us ; but it appears 
that he determined to waylay and destroy its escort, a stout 
body of mail-clad Spaniards. His troops, however, being sent 
for this purpose, caught a Tartar, and were defeated utterly. 
I'his fight is called the Battle of Fortuna, and so far added by 
its success to the courage of the victors (never remiss against 
the Moors), that they attacked a line of fortresses on the fron- 
tier, and did a prodigious deal of harm to the fields and 
vineyards of their enemies. Upon this, Ismail Ben Feraz 
called out the strength of his kingdom (a.d. 13 15) and deter- 
mined to ruin the marauders, who, however, so soon as they 




learnt what was on the way, retired homewards " with the 

prey they had taken. " 

Ismail Ben Feraz, averse to let his troops return without 
doing something, determined to try to recover '' that key of 
his kino-dom," as the Moors already called it, the Rock of 
Taric, and the Fortress upon it, to wit, Gibraltar, lie was 
also bent on recapturing Ccuta, thus hoping once more to 
unite the Pillars of Hercules to the realm of a single king. 
The latter place was in the hands of the Merifie lord of 
Almacrreb, Suleiman. Ismail accordingly despatched, said 
the Moorish writ-.r, a strong force against Gibraltar, and 
invested the place for some time ; but the frontier forces of 
Seville comino; to the succour of the besieged, and the Chris- 
tians, sending assistance to them by sea at the same moment, 
the Moslemah were compiled to break up their camp, not 
being strong enough to risk a battle.* 

These are all the rec(M\ls we have of the second siege of 
Gibraltar, nor does it seem probable that we need to know 
much more. The important point in the history is the clear 
recoirnition by both sid.s— Moors and Spaniards — ot the 
enormous importance of the place. This is amply expressed 
by the words of the Arabian authority which we have just 
quoted, ''Gebal Taric, that key of the kingdom of Ismail Ben 
Feraz," the would-be conqueror of the place. He failed m his 
attempts both upon Calpe and Abyla, but his successor was 
more fortunate, and the former reverted "to the Moslems for a 
\oivr time. Our next incident in the history of Gibraltar is 


little known, and very significant of the opinions which were, 
at that time, held about it. 

♦ CW/, pirt \v. c. xv'iii. 







;5^.r;^-:^HE new birth of energy in the realm of Granada 

\,y^ spread its effects far and wide. We have seen 
^'^^"^ how Ismail Ben Feraz aimed at the recovery 

of Gibraltar from the Christians, and, at the 
same time, from the Moslems, or Ikni A4erines of Africa, 
Ceuta, a nuah older, and, as it was then thought, more 
Important, fortress than its sister on the Mount of 1 aric. 
This brou^rht him into opposition to the nations on the north 
and south of his kingdom. As to the former, he had 
small chance of peace with them, who were In alliance with 
his dispossessed uncle, and hated himself as only Spaniards 
could hate Moors. Now, Pedro, Infante of Castile, continu- 
in^ his attacks on Granada, reached within three leagues of the 
city of that name, Ismail's capital, burnt some of the neigh- 
bourincr towns, and retired before the approach of Ismail ; 
but, soon afterwards returning, he stormed Velmez, both town 
and castle ; next the Christians took ^' Tuscar," and expelled 
the inhabitants, fifteen hundred men, with large numbers of 
women and children. 

This course was continued with unaltered fortune until 
the invaders, having taken the suburbs of Ulora and burnt 
them, and done abundance of mischief to the neighbouring 
districts, found themselves, on the morning of the Festival of 
St. John,- December 27th, 1319, in sight of Granada. They 

* If this refers to the Festival of St. John the Evangelist, according to the Roman, 
OIJ Ln^libh, French, ScoUi h, .S/..7-7./.', and German calendars, the above is the true 





were commanded bv the Infante Pedro and his uncle Juan, 
brother of King Alfonso XL of Castile. Ismail c(^llcctcd 
his troops and urged them to behave valiantly in the approach- 
ing battle. They were led bv Mahrairain, '' a brave Parthian," 
while Ismail commanded the reserve. The former attacked 
the Christians with such force that they soon fled, leaving 
their camp to plunder, and ^' the two v.iliant Princes of Castile 
thus died fiirhtin'^ with the braverv of lions, both fallini; in 
the hottest and most stubbornly contested period of the battle. 
The conquerors continued the pursuit of the Hying force until 
nightfall, when the unhappy Christians, favoured by the 
obscurity, first began to conceive hopes ot escape from their 
victorious lances. On the followinii day the Moslemah 
soldiers found the field was covered with the bodies of the 
slain ; but the vast riches which they obtained from the cami) 
of the Christians well repaid them for the labour ot their 
burial : Ismail ha\ in"- connnanded that all should be interred 
lest the air should becomj infected by the em:inations from 
them. The Aloslemah cavaliers who died on that day were 
buried with their vestments and arms as ihev were found — 
the most honourable shrouds and mortuary ornaments which 
the true Aloslemah can have from the world. It was obtained 
at the close of the year 718 (a.d. 1 3 19).* 

t'rom Al-makkari we have this characteristic description 
of this important conflict, which comprises a direct and curious 
reference to the J'ortress of (jibraltar. 

date. The 24th of November is the Festival of St. John of the Cross in th.e Spanish 
and Roman calendars; the 12th of the same month is appointed to St. J*dm the 
Almoner in tlie Greek calendar, and the 13th of the same to St. John Chrysostc-m in 
the Greek rule \ ?o the 13th of September by that of France, and the 26th September 
to St. John the Evangelibt in the Greek calendar. Sec what follows, from Al- 
makkari, making the date the 15th oi May, which is the Eve uf St. John Xepumuccn 
in the Spanish calendar. * Ibid. 





In 1319, Pedro, Infante of Castile, having with him, as It Is 
reported^ no fewer than twenty-five Christian princes, marched 
to the attack of Cjranada. He secured beforehand the blessing: 
of the Pope, or Baha as the Aloorish writer styles him, saying 
also that the Christians worshipped his Holiness. These 
preparations terrified the Moors of (jranada, and they sought 
hel{) in the old direction and from Abu Sa'id, the Alerine Sultan 
of Fez, who declined, or at least took no notice of, their 
entreaties. The Granadines must have plucked up hearts of 
their own or obtained assistance elsewhere than from the 
Merines, as Pedro w^as met by five thousand under their king 
(Sunday, May 15th, 1319). This army seemed so small to the 
Christians that they felt sure of victory ; yet the Moslems 
made so desperate an attack that the former fled immediately, 
and more than fifty thousand of them were said to have been 
hlain, besides those who were drowned in the river. (?) The 
spoils were prodigious ; forty-three hundredweight of gold, 
one hundred and forty hundredweight of silver, besides armour, 
arms, and horses. There w^ere seven thousand prisoners. 
Among these wx^e the wife and childien of the King (Infante), 
and, although she ofl^ered for her ransom the city of Tarifa and 
the fortress of "Jehalu-l-faiah (Gibraltar) and eighteen more 
castles in that district, the Moslems would not accept it, and 
she remained in captivity. As to Don Pedro, he was slain, 
and his skin, being stripped from his body, was stufFed with 
cotton and suspended over the gate of Granada, where it 
remained for years. ""^ This was called the Battle of Elvira. 

This very curious reference to Gibraltar appears in the 
history to which we have so often referred. It seems that the 

* The Christian writers deny tills assertion, and say that th.c body was carried to 
the convent of Las Huelgas, Burgos. 



Moors could hardly have expected to obtain higher ransom 
than this for the lady and her children. They were probably 
detained in order to compel the offering of terms dillerent from 
the above, or the victors in the great combat might have 
believed themselves secure of the places by ordinary processes 
of war. 

The further progress of Ismail Ben Feraz displays an inci- 
dent in the history of warlike operations which is very impor- 
tant, and illustrates the use, if not the first employment, of 
those terrible arms which have nowhere been employed with 
more effect and energy than at Gibraltar — we mean cannon. 
It happened in the year 1325 that Ismail besieged the city of 
Baza. "■ lie fixed his camp," says Conde, '' bef )re the city, 
and entrenched his position with great care ; that done he 
commenced the attack, assaulting the place day and night with 
various en2:ines of war : amoncr these machines were some that 
cast globes of fire, with resoundinir thunders and li^htninirs, 
resembling those of the resistless tempest \ ;dl these missiles 
causing fearful injuries to the walls and towers of the city. 
These attacks, with the privations endured by the defenders, 
compelled the latter to submission, and they made their con- 
ventions with King Ismail to that effect ; Aledina Baza being 
surrendered on the 24th of the moon of Regib, 724"^' (a.d. 

* The earliest known document of English origin referring to tlie use of cannon is 
much later than the above reference to 1325, being d;?ted 1338, and an indenture 
between John Sterlyng, Clerk of the King's Ships, and Ilelmyng Legct, keeper 
of the same, 22nd June, 12th Edward III., for the delivery of " ij canons dc ferr sanz 
estuff" in a ship called " Le Bernard de la Tour" (Tower) j also, in the barge " L.i 
Marie de la Tour," "a cannon of iron of 2 chambers, a brass one, a kettle, and a 
sponger:" " iij canons of iron with v clumbers, and a hand-gun were in the hulk 
called 'Christopher of the Tower.''" M. Gayangos, in a letter to Cipt-iin Bracken- 
bury, Royal Artillery, quoted by the latter in Athcnauniy No. 2142, N'ovember 14, 
1868, refers to such statements as this which we quote from Conde, adding, "I believe 
the same (artillery) came from China and India." If Condc's authority is unimpcach- 




1325)." He also employed such machines as these in the 
taking of Alartos, a place which has Anther significance in our 
history, and as we shall see, again at the siege of Alireciras. 

able and its date exact, this employment of cannon at Baza is the first recorded case of 
the kind in Europe. M. Gayangos, in referring cannon to the far East, has forgotten 
the description by Marco Polo, of the siege of Sayanfu (Siang-Yang), 1273, which 
shows that balistae and mangonels were then used in China j it does not prove, 
however, because Kublai Khan employed the more ancient mode of projection in the 
siege of a Chinese city, that cannon were then unknown to the Chinese. 

Since the publication in the Athcnaum of the letter referred to above, a reply by 
Mr. Riley was issued, which invalidates the assumptions founded on the alleged dates 
of the English records. This, of course, does not aflcct the statements we have quoted 
from Conde j these must stand on their own merits, whatever those may be. 




)ROM the taking of Martos by such strange means 
arose an event which changed the course of 
W Moslem history and enabled the son of Ismail to 
accomplish that achievement for which his hither 
had so stronorlv striven, i.e. the recapture of Gibraltar from the 
Christians. This event referred to a woman. Among the 
captives at Martos was a damsel of great beauty whom 
Mohammed Ben Ismail, son of the Wali of Algeciras, rescued 
from the soldiery at the peril of his life. Ben Fcraz, notwith- 
standin^i- this, seeinir the irirl, fell in love with and took her 
from Ben Ismail, and a great quarrel happened between the 
men about her. The Wali of Algeciras, it must be remem- 
bered, like other personages of that title, was almost independent 
as a ruler and his son a man of importance, moreover a cousin 
to Ben Feraz himself; this champion was furious with wrath at 
the treatment he received, and determined upon taking revenge ; 
for this purpose, having assembled his friends at the gate of the 
Alhambra, where Ben Feraz was rejoicing for the recent 
victories, armed themselves with daggers, which they concealed, 
and after teirnv^ the guards they wanted to address the king 
as he came forth, they were allowed to wait until this happened. 
Mohammed and his brother then stepped forward, as it to 
salute their sovereign, and stabbed him in the head and breast, 
also the chief wizir, who attended, and, in the confusion, 
escaped. The second wizir was cqu;il to this emergency and 




dexterously contrived the succession of the crown to 
Mohammed IV., the son of Ben Feraz. The sepulchral 
inscription of Ben Feraz declared him to be " the Martyr 
King, Restorer of the House of the Nas'rs " (a.d. 1324). 

Mohammed IV., called Abu Abdallah, was but twelve 
years old at his accession ; later he became a great champion 
in Andalus. Among the most important of his proceedings 
was the 'Fhird Siege of Gibraltar. He was troubled by 
rebellions and other distresses, among them, the revolt of his 
uncle and the General Othman Abu Sa'id, who had had 
charge of his youth. These called in the aid of the Christians 
to the ruin of the country, and, further, had help from Africa. 
Mohammed W . (it must have been his general, for he was 
then but sixteen years of age) sent for aid to the Wali of 
Algeciras, entreating him to prevent the passing of the Straits 
by the Beni Merines, who, however, not only did this, but 
took that city of Algeciras itself and otheis of hardly less 
importance. Nevertheless did Mohammed, or his advisers, 
continue this war with energy. Assembling a small but 
effective force, he took Baena, and after an attack upon 
Casares, resolved to assault Gibraltar. 

'Fhe Fortress of the Rock was, say the Moslem authorities, 
then very poorly garrisoned, by which we are to understand 
that it was poorly supplied as well as inefficiently garrisoned. 
Fhe governor was one who had distin2,uished himself in former 
wars, and was therefore considered fit to hold so important a 
place ; yet he had one characteristic defect, avarice ; for, 
says Ayala, his principal aim was to accumulate fortune 
for himself out of the dues and other resources of the fortress. 
The money thus embezzled he employed to buy houses in 
Seville. 'Fhis governor was Vasco Perez de Meira ; he 
iieglected his charge, so that the walls were unsound, the place 



badly provisioned and worse armed. Information to this efFect 
had been carried to the Moorish king, so that " he directed 
his flying camp on the city, and so closely pressed the siege 
that, in despite of the machines and engines which the Chris- 
tians used in their defence, he took possession of the place 
by force of arms, and occupied it with his troops." The 
case, however, was not quite of so simple a nature as this 
summary would seem to indicate. The Moslems captured the 
arsenal by a coup de main^ but made slight progress by means 
of their arms beyond that point, which enabled them to 
blockade the Fortress, which was so badly stored that a few 
days must have brought the issue if, as the Christian historians 
relate, a strange chance had not cast a grain ship ashore and 
within reach. On more than one similar occasion such wrecks 
have happened, as when a Danish craft laden with lemons 
came into the hands of General Elliot's o;arrison, then sufferinir 
dreadfully from scurvy (October ii, 1780) and, in the year 
preceding, a storm cast abundance of drift wood under the 
walls, so that, as '' fuel had long been a scarce article, this 
supply," says Drinkwater, " was therefore considered as a 
miraculous interference of Providence in our favour." The 
siege under Mohammed lasted but the lonorcr on this account, 
yet might have been still more protracted if the 2:rccd of the 
Spanish governor had not led the way to his own ruin. He 
actually fattened his prisoners on the storey which were hardly 
surlicient to keep his soldiers alive. Shut up in the castle or 
keep, which had been considerably strengthened since its 
erection by Abd-1-Mumen Ibn Ali in 1161, the Spaniards, 
while they ate leather, had the mortification of secino: the food 
which was needed to maintain their lives and stren^nh, e\- 
pended in keeping their captives in good condition, and in 
order that the avaricious governor should, if he and all his 




men did not become captives in turn, gain higher ransoms 
for the Moslems. This extraordinary conduct availed De 
Perez nothing, for— after sustaining the place for nearly five 
months, during which period the Christian kings of Spain, 
engaged with intestine troubles, made no effectual efforts 
to deliver him — the governor was compelled to surrender 
on receiving safeguard for himself and the few who remained 
of the garrison. Of course he lost the ransoms for which he 
had risked, if not sacrificed, so much, and he took good care 
not to face Alfonso XI., his sovereign, but ended his days in 
Africa, living on the remains of his plunder and under the 
contempt of his countrymen. Nevertheless it must be owned 
that he suffered much in the service, and the siege was, for 
that age, a lengthy one. Thus ended the third siege of 
Gibraltar, by means of which it returned to Moslem hands for 
a time, having been in those of the Christians for about 
twenty-two years. 







THE roiMiTH SIEGE, 1334. 

LFONSO XI. was not the ruler to allow such a 
7^, fortress as that of which we are treatiii"- to 

i%\>'' remain unassaileJ in the power of his enemies. 
At the moment, however, he was engaged in the 
northern part of his dominions. Mohammed iV . reconquered 
Algcciras, which had fallen into the hands of the Beni 
Merines,'^' with oth^r cities of this district. This tide of eood 
fortune tor the Granadian prince! was of hricf duration. 
Alfonso gathered all his forces to recapture Gihraltar, and, 
as the Arabian chronicler has it, invested the pLue both by 
land and sea ; so that Mohammed was compelled to repeat 
the fatal policy of his predecessors, by seeking the aid of 
the Beni Mcrines against the enemy of their common faith. 
The Africans were admitted to the fortress again, and, as soon 
as it was in their power to do so, annoyed and distressed the 
rightful garrison almost as much as if they had been their ft)cs. 
The Granadians were compelled to submit to many indignities 
from their insolent allies. The xMoslem accounts allelic that 
the approach of the troops of their nation compelled Alfonso 
to raise the siege, and retreat, capturing I'eba in the return ; 
but this does not airree with the histories of their antaiionists, 
which declare that it was not until after the failure of a rash 
attempt that the Castilian king retreated, and but for one day, 

* Al-makkari. CunJc. 



after which he returned with the resolution to free certain 
of his soldiers who had been taken before the walls, and under 
the command of Rui Lopez and Fernan de A4elra, adventurous 
captains, who lost much by their rashness. The first thing 
Alfonso effected was the diniilnir of a trench across the sands, 
between the Bay of Algcciras and the Alediterranean, thus con- 
vertlnii; the Rock into an Island, a practice which has been 
partially repeated since his time. His object was evidently to 
starve the garrison, and keep succour from them. The 
tenacity of his character displayed itself in this as well as in 
other circumstances. Not even the death of his son, nor 
troubles in Castile and the capture of Benimexi by the Arabs, 
sufBced to change his purpose. Ayala tells us that the 
monotony and apparent hopelessness of the attempt was 
relieved by the capture of a distinguished Granadian general, 
who fell Into a trap. Yet there seemed no chance of success. 
Both parties suffered dreadfully from fatigue and disease, and 
Alfonso was about to abandon the attack, when envoys came 
to him from the enemy with proposals for a truce of four 
years, the Granadians promising to pay annually to Alfonso 
ten thousand doubloons of gold, the fortress to remain in their 
hands, with liberty to purchase provisions. Condc condensed 
the Moorish account of this matter, which is to this effect — 
that Gibraltar had been usurped by the Beni Merlnes when 
they were called to aid, as before stated, so that Mohammed IV. 
made a virtue of necessity and yielded the fortress, as of free 
will, to his treacherous ally, whom Alfonso attacked there 
with such strength that he was about to become master, when 
the Beni Merlnes, in their turn, solicited aid from the Grana- 
dians; whereupon Alohamined came with a strong army and 
attacked the Christians so vigorously that he defeated them with 
great slaughter, and compelled the raising of the siege. This 





account continues in a which looks like truth, to the 
cfFect that Mohammed, elated with this success, triumphed 
over the African general whom he had succoured, boasting 
that the Chri>tians, like all those born in Andalus, thought the 
Africans unworthy of their swords, but that the advent of his 
Granadians saved the hungry and wietched Africans, the Wcni 
Merines, subjects of the Sultan of Fez. Further, that these 
insults rankled in the hearts of the A4erines, who seiz.ed the 
opportunity of Mohammed goin^^ to vi^it their king, Abd-1- 
Hassan, in Africa, to murder him on the road, a.m. 733, 
A.D. 1334. It is certain that Mohammed ]]en Ismail was 
assassinated in this manner, and on such an occasion. 

It is curious that Al-makkarl confounds to^iether the 
sequence of events in reference to the sieges of 1309 and 
1334, for he tells us that '■'' when the news of the former event 
reached Africa, Abd-1-Hassan (son of Othman) Al-merini, 
Sultan of Fez, who knew the importance of the Fortress, and 
spent his treasures upon it in repairing and increasing the 
fortifications, resolved upon wresting the valuable prize from 
the enemy. Accordingly, taking with him one of his sons,"^- he 
sailed thither with his fleet, and, being joined soon after landing 
by the Granadians under the command of Mohammed, closely 
invested the place, and made himself master of it. 

No sooner had Abd-1-Hassan reduced Ciibraltart than he 
began to give his attention to repairing the buildings and 
increasing the fortifications, spending immense sums of money 
in building houses and magazines, as well as 3.jcimi\ or principal 
mosque, and erecting new walls, towers, and even a citadel. J 

♦ Ahd-1 malic (" Abomllique"), who was killed in battle soon after, 
t Al-makkari, vol. ii, p. 355. 

* There is a very elaborate account of these buildings in the "Travels of Ibn 
Battutah," a.h. 750, or a.d. 1348 (GuyangcsJ. 

Before, however, these improvements were fully completed, 
the Christians nivested Gibraltar by sea and land ; but their 
attempt was frustrated by the gallant defence of the Moslems, 
commanded by the King of Granada, and they were compelled 
to raise the siege. (This, of course, refers to the fourth attack 
upon the place.) After this, the Sultan, Abd-1-Hassan, again 
applied himself further to strengthen Gibraltar, by causing a 
thick wall to be built at the foot of the Rock, surrounding it 
on all sides, as the halo surrounds the crescent moon, so that 
the enem\' could discover no prospect of success in attacking it, 
nor did there appear any wav through which he could force an 
entrance. In the course of time, however, Algeciras became 
the prey of the infidels, in consequence of the defeat which Abd- 
1-Hassan, together with Ibnu-1-Ahmar (Abu-l-hijag Yusuf), 
suffered at 'Farifa ; and Cjibraltar was afterwards taken from 
the Beni Merines bv Mohammed Al-iihani-billah, Sultan of 
Cjranada. Soon after the Christians had raised the siege of 
Gibraltar, continues Al-makkari, Sultan Mohammed was 






r> I BR ALTAR thus remained in ihc hands of the 

^flf Beni Alerincs, and was, as usual, tctc de pont for 
'' -^/lr->, further conciuests. The news of the assassination 
^ of Mohammed I\\ is said to have come to his 
armv while returning from the relief of the Fortress. (Condc.) 
Jusef Ben Ismail Ben Feraz, his brother, succeeded to the 
crown, and received the oaths of allegiance from his generals, 
as they were assembled at Algcciras. He sought peace on all 
sides, but found none after the expiraticMi of the truce which 
his brother had made. Even before the lapse of the time, it is 
alleged that the Merine owner of Gibraltar landed a L^reat torce 
there, which could only be destined f)r the injuring of the 
Christians (1338). Alfonso gathered his feudatories, reconciled 
those to their allegiance who had been in rebellion, engaged 
allies from Portuiial and Arra^on and endeavoured to prevent 
the landin^^ of reinforcements from Africa on the Spanish coast. 
In this he was unsuccessful; but in the winter of 1339 his 
troops defeated their enemies. This event seems to have 
cemented the union of the Granadians with their African neigh- 
bours, for both parties gathered immense armies. On the part 
of the Christians, it was attempted to maintain the command ct 
the Straits of Gibraltar by means of the Castilian and Arrago- 
nese fleets. This resulted unfortunately in the first instance, 
for the African fleet, consisting of one hundred and forty galleys, 
surrounded those of the Castilians and Arragonese, and destrt)yed 



many of them, killing the admiral, Tenorio, and opening the 
Straits to further reinforcements from the kino-dom of Fez. 
This was towards the close of the year of the Hegira 741, 
A.D. 1340. Great rejoicings of the Arabs followed this 
triumph, and their two kings met at Algeciras with the highest 
hopes. At this conference it was agreed to besiege Tarifa, 
which was put in practice according to the mode which was 
referred to here before. '^ The iVIoslemah commenced the 
attack with various machines ; among others, those engines of 
thunder which cast great balls of iron, with nafta (f naphtha) 
whereby a fearful destruction was made in the well-towered 
walls of the city." ( Condi'.) '^ Aid was sought in all directions, 
and the Portuguese as well as the Castilians rushed impetuously 
to battle ; tor it seems to have been felt on both sides that the 
time of a deadly struggle was at hand. Such was indeed 
the case, for the battle of the Salado, called by the Aloorihh 
writers that of the (juadacelito (River Celito) was one of the 
most terrific combats oi' which we have records. The Aioors 
made incursions to the Ciiristian territories, and did a pro- 
digious amount of mischief, but were caught on their return 
laden with plunder. It was then that Abd-1-malek and 
another genercd were slain. Meanwhile Alfonso secured 
assistance in ships from (jenoa, Portugal and Arragon, to 
reinstate his fleet of the Straits ; this naval aid was gathered in 
Tarifa Bay, and in the latter days of October, 1340, Alfonso 
and his ally and namesake, Alfonso, called the Brave, of 
Portugal, Lippeared before the antagonistic hosts in the neigh- 
bourhood of the sanie city. On the 27th of this month, the 
armies met in combat ^^ near the very spot where, five hun- 
dred vears later, was fought the Battle of Barrossa." (Sayers.) 
It is needless to enter into details of this terrible conflict; 
suflice it that at a critical moment the garrison of Tarifa 

i ^dM^gp mri i i ii P'ljIljpii ppiiP 



rushed from the place and turned the fortunes of the day 
to the utter defeat of the Moslems, and the slaughter of a 
prodigious number of their best soldiers. Some of the van- 
quished fled to Africa, the King of Fez retreated to Gibraltar, 
and his ally, of Granada, to Algeciras. The former soon 
afterwards crossed to Ccuta, and the latter, by sea also, 
went to Granada. Thus vividly did Al-makkari describe this 
event : " Abu-1-Hassan landed on the coast of Andalus with 
the laudable purpose of aiding his fellows of the Moslem fliith \ 
he did this with sixty thousand men, and was soon after joined 
by the Granadian army. ' Alas ! God Almighty, whose decrees 
are infallibly executed upon his creatures, had decided in his 
infinite wisdom that this proud armament should be dispersed 
like the dust before the wind, and that Abu-1-Hassan himself 
should return to his dominions vanquished and a lugitive \ 
that the sharp-edged sword of the inhdel should shine over 
his head, and those of his men. Wc will not inquire how it 
happened ; but the fact is, that thou>ands of .Moslems won 
that day the crown of martyrdom, that the ranks of doctors 
and theoloo-ians were friiihtfullv thinned, the law of the sword 
bein2: executed upon their throats. The Sultan's (of Fez) 
own son and all his harem fell into the hands of the victorious 
enemy, his treasures became the prey o't the idolators, who 
from that day thought of nothing short of subjecting the rest 
of x\ndalus to their abominable rule.' " 


^• <V •/ 








rf^^(i^^^HIS great victory not only established the supre- 
®i-l^ macyofthe Christians in Spain, and inflicted a 
severe punishment upon their enemies of Andalus 
ff=^^^ and Almagreb, but it drew the eyes of Europe 
upon the contest in the Peninsula, so that when he sat down 
before Alo-eciras, this entrenched camp of Alfonso was the 
goal of adventurous knights and nobles from many lands. 
Anion"- these was Henry Plantagenet, Earl of Lancaster, of 
the blood royal of England, who was son of Edmund (Crouch- 
back), the second son of Henry HL, guardian of Edward HE, 
father of the In^t Duke of Lancaster, and, through the latter, 
grandfather of Blanclie Plantagenet, who married John of 
(jaunt. 'Fhis Earl of Lancaster was called ''Wryneck," and 
liad been distingiiihhcd in opposition to Alortimer, Earl of 
March, and Qiieen IsabcHa, in the days of Edward H. He 
was wounded in the siege of Algeciras, and died 1345. 
Besides this lord there came liis son, the Earl of Derby, about 
whom Froissart wrote so much, and the Earls of Salisbury, 
Lincoln, and Leicester, the King of Navarre, a large body of 
Genoese mercenaries, French, Portuguese, and Italian knights. 
The place was defended with the greatest energy ; sallies were 
made •, and when the Christians brought forward their wheeled 
towers of wood, covered with raw hides, the cannons, loaded 
with rcd-hrA balls of iron, with thundering ?iafta^ were discharged 



with terrible effect. We believe this is the earliest recorded 
instance of red-hot balls being discharged from guns, althou-h, 
of course, even the Romans employed bolts of incandescent 
iron in their cat:ipults. If we are correct, it is noteworthy, 
that at Ah^eciras was first emploved that formidable means 
of defence which was so serviceable in the (ireat Siege ot 
Gibraltar. This defence, in a desperate attempt made by the 
Granadian king to relieve the place by an attack on the 
entrenched besiegers, was vain; the King of Fez having burnt 
his fino-ers before, refused to aid ; the blockade which Alfonso 
kept up at the mouth of the port was by no means inetlectual 
at any time, and, later, most stringent. Although the besiegers 
suffered di-eadfully, they held to their purpose, and a con- 
tribution from the French king, with a loan from the Pope, 
together seventy thousand florins, enabled Alfonso to keep his 
troops in the held, and pay his mercenaries. At last Juset 
Ben Ismail treated for the surrender of his famous city, and 
consented to do so, pay twelve thousand gold doubloons, and 
accept a truce for ten years, besides declaring that he held his 
crown under the sovereignty of Alfonso and his heirs. Fhus, 
accordino; to the feudal theorv, there were no supreme rulers 
but Christians in Spain, and nominally, the reign ot the 
Moslems expired. The enemy took possession of Algezira 
Alhadra, an event which occurred, after a siege of twenty 
months in the moon of Aluharram, and the year 744 (a.d. 
1344). This was three years before the Battle of Crecy, 
at which cannon arc said to have been fnst used by the 

It was recorded by the Arabian historian that Alfonso treated 
the generals of Jusef Ben Ismail, who had been opposed to 
him, with great courtesy, and had much consideration tor the 
people who were expelled from their homes in Algeciras. It 



Is noteworthy that this chlvalric disposition of the Spanish 
kino^ was fully appreciated by the Moors, who, as all autho- 
rities assure us, put on mourning '^^ in token of respect for him 
when he died in the course of the next siege of Gibraltar ;" and 
"although he was of a truth rejoiced in his heart at the death of 
so potent an enemy," as the Moslem chronicler candidly states 
of his own king, "■ yet he nevertheless exhibited certain signs of 
regret, and declared that one of the most excellent princes of 
the world had been lost in the person of Alfonso Ben Ferdi- 
nand, the grandson of Sancho." Aleantinie, the number of 
inhabitants on the Rock had been much enlariied bv mio;rations 
from the neighbouring city of Algeciras, where the expelled 
could continue with little real disadvantage their old trades in 
the old channels. 

At this time, also, the fortifications had been vastly increased 
by Abu-1-Hassan, and Faris, his son, the Merine Sultans of 
Fez, in whose hands Gibraltar still remained. It is clear that 
althouiih the truce was made between Alfonso and the Grana- 
dian king for ten years, yet, either the former broke this con- 
dition, or what is more probable, the treaty did not include the 
Merines ; for although Algeciras was taken in a.h. 744 (a.d. 
1344), the Castilian again assembled his forces, and was 
actually "-encamped on the sea-shore between Gebal Taric and 
Algezira Alhadra in the spring of the year 780" (a.d. 1348-9). 
'Fhis was after Ben Ismail had in vain sought to have the 
truce prolonged to fifteen years. Alfonso would not consent 
to this, but " came with a great power to lay siege to Gebal 
'Faric so soon as the truce had expired ; the loss of that 
stronghold, which he had once occupied, weighing heavily 
upon his heart." (Conde.) He brought many engines and 
great machines of war to bear upon the place (no mention here 
of cannon in Christian hands, so be it noted) ; but Gebal 





Taric, continues the Arabian writer. Is so strong by the 
nature of its site, and the brave garrison defended their hold so 
well, that he could do nothins; effectual against it. In the 
first case Alfonso began by assaulting the place with the 
machines that, however terrible in other cases, were com- 
paratively innocuous against the Rock, which, we may be sure, 
had cannon for its defence. In this attack Alfonso soon found 
the prodigious advantage that accrued to him by the posses- 
sion of Algeciras, which city had hitherto been a great 
hindrance to assaults on Gibraltar. The places defended each 
other, so to sav ; but now the Christians were fortunate in 
having the city as a base of operations against the Rock. 
Alfonso was comparatively poor, and soon exhausted the 
money which had been laid up for this war ; so, after carrying 
on the siege for nearly six months he sold part of the estates 
of the crown to Perez dc Guzman for a subsidy which came 
fortunately to his aid. An Arragonese squadron helped to 
increase the blockade of the Port of Gibraltar ; in fact the 
sieo-e became a mere blockade, but '• it pleased God that this 


valiant kino^ and unrelcntinir enemy of Islam, who had hoped 
to make himself master of all the Aloslemah territories in Spain, 
should himself depart from life." 

This happened thus. The plague had been running Its 
common course in the world for two years then last past. In 
London, in 1348, no fewer than fifty th(Hisand pjrsons were 
slain by pestilence. In Saragossa three hundred daily died, in 
Florence more than two-thirds of the people perished. This 
was the plague which forms what may be called a foil to 
the luxurious scenes of the '^ Decameron " of Boccacio. 
Now, it is not to be wondered at that a camp such as that of 
Alfonso, pitched in such a place as the sands before Gibraltar, 
and inhabited by troops so mixed as his, soon became a hole of 

pestilence, and the terrified people appealed to their general 
and kirig that he would abandon the siege of Gibraltar. The 
women, who were accommodated with quarters in the camp, 
the very captains, the troops themselves, all besought the king 
to yield up his purpose, at least for a whilc^ vet, so stubborn 
was he that not even the kneeling ladies, and urgent counsel, 
stirred his will ; he utterly refused to permit the breaking up 
of the camp, to give away the advantages of so much cost in 
blood and treasure. P\)r nearly three months his purpose held, 
and the sturdy garrison still maintained their hold on ( jibraltar ; 
but, says the Arabian writer, '' he died of the plague on a 
Giuma, which was the loth day of the moon Muharran, in 
the year 751 " (loth March, 1350). 

Thus perished a splendid prince, of whom even his 
enemies spoke well, says the Moorish historian, writing of his 
person in this curiously strikinir portrait : '^ Alfonso was of 
middle height, but of well-proportioned figure; his complexion 
was red and white, his eyes had a tinge of green, with a grave 
and serious expression ; he was robust of person, strong and of 
a healthy constitution, very elegant and graceful in manner, 
highly resolute and brave, noble and sincere, and for the 
misfortune ot the Moslemah, very prosperous in war." A 
Granadian army was then opposed to that of the Spaniards, but 
such was the chivalric feclino; with rei^ard to Alfonso that its 
commanders refrained from hostilities at the moment of the 
king's death, nor did they prevent the removal of his body to 
Seville, whence it was afterwards carried to Cordova. 

Thus ended the life of the first Christian captor and 
repeated besieger of (jibraltar. With his life ended the Fifth 
Siege of this now famous place. 







c-^^^-T^CnHE successor of Alfonso XI. on the throne of 

^"li'^'y" Castile was his son, whom we call the Cruel^ 
@-n :) althouo;h some o^ his suhjects adopted for him 

^^ the milder name of the Just. The former would 

appear to be the aptest title for the man who put to death 
Leonora de Guzman, his flither's mistress and the mother of 
several of his own half-brethren, of whom the fiimous Henry 
of Tran«=tamare was afterwards the avenger in blood, and 
Pedro's successor. Associated as Pedro's name is with so 
many acts of atrocit\', it is not needful for Ub to do more than 
recall to the niinds of our readers the names of some of his 
victims. These are, besides Leonora de (Guzman, (Jarcihisso 
de la Vei^a, Blanche de Bourbon of the French blood ro\al, 
Juanna de Castro, Fadrique de Ciuzman, his own haU-brother, 
Abu Sa'id or Abu Abdillah, the usurping king of Granada, his 
guest, whom he killed with his own hand. Bertrand du 
Gucsclin and our own Black Prince were mixed up in the 
series of revolts which ended in the fratricide by Henry of 
Transtamare. Mohammed V. of Ciranada, son of Jusef Ben 
Ismail, succeeded his fither, who was murdered by a lunatic 
while at prayers, and was himself slain by means of the mother 
of Ismail, another son ot Jusef, 1359. 

Meanwhile a striking event in the history o'i had 
happened. In the year 756 (a.d. 1354) the Wali of Gebal 
Taric, Isa Ben Al-hassan Ben Abi Mandel Alascari, took pos- 



session of that fortress in his own name, and assumed the title 
of king. He had power to keep down the faithful inhabitants 
who would have opposed themselves to his rebellion, but his 
avarice and cruelty soon rendered him so abhorrent to all the 
people, that an insurrection ensued, wherein every one declared 
against him, and he was compelled to shut himself up in the 
citadel with his son, and but three weeks after the usurpation 
of the sovereign authority. Being thus besieged by the people, 
he was, in a short time, reduced to surrender, when his victors 
scut him bound to Ceuta, and gave him up, together with his 
son, to the Kinii Abu Anan. That monarch then caused 
theni both to be put to death with the most cruel and 
unpar.dleled tortures, as the reward of their disloyalty and 


The next e\ ent of note In the neighbourhood of Gibraltar, 
for we cannot here take account of the disorders of the Cas- 
tilian and Granadian kingdoms, was the taking, very easily, of 
Ali^eclras by Mohammed V. in 1370, a place which he burnt 
and dismantled (a.h. 772). In 1379 Henry of TVanstamarc 
died suddenly, and, it was averred, by means of certain slippers 
said to ha\e been poisoned by order of Mohammed V., and 
sent by him, with other gifts, to his then ally. Juan I. and 
Henry HI. followed consecutively on the Castilian throne. 
Mohammed V. died in 1407, and Jusef HI., his brother, 
reitrned in his stead. 

We do not know how Gibraltar came Into the possession of 
the kinirs of Ciranada at this time •, It is evident that the suzc- 
rein of the place, at the death of Isa Ben Al-hassan, was an 
African prince, for the conquerors of that briefly-reigning 
monarch sent him to Ceuta. It is clear, from the account in 
Cofidc^ that in 141 1 the people of the Rock, weary of the 
oppressions of their governor and of submitting to the kings 






of Granada, wrote letters to Abu Sa'id, King of Fez, offering 
to acknowledge themselves as his vassals if he would aid them 
in their need and receive thcni to his faith and protection. 
The King of Fez was much rejoiced by that embassy, and 
instantly despatched his brother, also called Abu Sa'id, with two 
thousand men, to occupy that important turtress, which is the 
key to all Spain. Yet the King o^ Fez was not moved wholly 
by his wish to obtain possession of C^ibraltar ; he was jealous 
of his brother, who was so much beloved at home that the 
king fancied he might be dangerous to his own throne. 1 his 
suspicion seems to have been unjust. 'I he younger Abu 
Sa'id crossed the Straits with his army, and easily obtained 
possession of the greater part of the Fortress ; the Granadian 
governor retired to the citadel, and meanwhile succours came 
to him from his own king, who, in their turn, besieged the 
troops from Fez, and ultimately made them prisoners of 
war. The Prince of (jranada strengthened the garrison, and 
returned with Abu Sa'id the vounii;er to his father, who received 
the latter with honour, and when the King ot Fez requested 
him to destroy his brother, who seems to have been sent to be 
trapped in Gibraltar, he refused to have ariything to do with 
such wickedness, and sent the letter to the intended victim, 
who therefore accepted the aid that was pioflered by his host, 
and recrossed the Straits with ample forces and abundant 
money. The King of Fez was, as may be imagined, intensely 
astonished at this turn of affairs, which ended in his own 
deposition and imprisonment. This was the sixth siege of 
our Fortress. 

It was not until 1436 that the peace of the l'\)rtress was 
disturbed anew by warlike measures ; at this time, as if to 
complete the strangeness of its fortunes, the siege was laid by 
one of the I)e Guzmans, so that, after being f)r centuries the 



prize of kings, and itself, for a while, a little kingdom^ it was 
then attacked by a private person ; this was the first, but not 
the last like attempt. The new assailant was Henry II., 
Count of Niebla, who had derived from his grandfather, the 
first Christian conqueror of the Fortress, a considerable extent 
of land and valuable rights of tunny and other fisheries on the 
coast. The constant wars and rebellions of the Arabs caused 
great injuries to these possessions, so that, in hopes of securing 
the place, he gathered his vassals arid friends from all quarters, 
and sat down before the Rock in the year we have named. 
He collected these troops, and ships to aid them, in secret. 
As before, the Red Sands, to the west of the city, was the 
point of the land attack. 'Fhe command was given to the son 
of the count, and the party flattered themselves that their 
preparations were unknown to the defenders, whom they 
believed to be weaker than was really the case. 'Fhe latter 
had, with equal secrecy, gathered stores and reinforcements, 
and added to their defences. The storming party was allowed 
by the Moors to land where strong defences were already 
jirepared against them \ this was a slip of the beach, where 
the invaders were cramped for room, and exposed to the 
advance of the tide, which, when the attack began, came in 
upon them, and, together with the missiles of the besieged, 
caused the most dreadful losses to the Christians. The boats, 
which had put off for more soldiers, returned to the aid of 
those who had fust landed, yet it was but to share their fate. 
'Fhe count, who was with his boats, was, after he had got 
to a safe place, attracted by the entreaties of an old friend ; 
he returned but to be drowned, with forty nobles, by means of 
the numbers who attempted to get into the boats. An attack, 
which was planned against the other side of the Fortress, failed 
also, and the entire armv was disorgarused, so that both fleet 




and troops returned homewards utterly defeated, l^he body 
of De Guzman was picked up by the Moors, who refused to 
accept ransom for it, and hung it from the battlements of the 
citadel for twenty-six years, when Alfonso of Arcos took 
the place, and removed the corpse of his luckless predecessor. 
On this occasion the strangely varied fortunes of the Rock 
were, for the first time, illustrated by the treachery of a born 
Moor, a convert to Christianity. The death-day of the 
Moslem power in Spain was now at hand ; we shall soon 
write its epitaph in the mournful yet resigned words ot the 
historian whom we have followed so long through the many 
turns of this eventful history. 





(P^tv^^^tT? EARLY an entire ircncration passed away ere 

jlS^plr, ^ ; -^ . 

M |l''iV^^T*"'\ (jibraltar underwent another in the lonir series 
m^ \^ll> of its sle'j-es. The repulse and ruin of De 
Jj>lC^''^\L3 Ciuzman happened in 1436, and, except such 
occasional alarms as those to which all fortresses were then 
liable, and the pain of seeing the hated Christians increase their 
hold upon the neighbouring country, the Aloorish citizens and 
soldiers of the Rock found safety if not peace upon its sides. 
The Kine of Granada was tributary to his royal brother of 
Castile, vet frontier wars were almost unceasing. The throne 
of Granada, since we last reckoned its occupants, had passed 
from Mohammed Ben Jusef, in 1407, to Jusef Ben Jusef, or 
Jusef III., who reigned until 1422, and was followed by 
Mohammed \TI., called El Hay%ari^ who continued in 
possession until 1435, and was succeeded by Mohammed 
VIII., Ben Osman, who ruled until 1454 (a.h. 859). This 
was the vear after the fall of Constantinople under Constantine 
XIV., and the setting up, under Mohammed II., of the Otto- 
man Kn^pire in Europe. By this comparison of contempo- 
raneous events we see that althoui!;h the Moslem dominion in 
Spain was nodding to its fall, yet, not only was the catastrophe 
to be postponed until the end of the century, 1492, but the 
general influence of the followers of the Arabian Prophet was 
still potent even in Europe, and a mighty power founded with 
a destiny that was terrible to this continent. When the 



Gr.madian kingdom ended, Constantinople had just fallen after 
a siese which ranks with those of our Rock under Gi-neral 
Elliot ; the glorious defence of Charleston by the Confederate 
States of North America ; and, so far as we yet see in histori- 
cal significance, far surpassed these events, or the destruction 
of Sebastopol by the P'rench and English. 

To Mohammed VIII. succeeded, in 1454, Alohammed IX., 
Ben Ismail, in the ninth year of whose reign (1462) Gibraltar 
passed finally into Christian hands. This is how it happened. 
The place was in the possession of the Spanish Aloors, their 
brethren of Almagreb having, for the last time, parted with it 
many years before this period ; but we know not exactly how. 
Conde's authority <iivcs the history very briefly, and to the 
effect that the Duke of Medina-Sidonia attacked the place, and 
after an obstinate resistance on the part of the garrison, took 
it — "a o;reat and lastin'j; injury to the Aloslemah." I'his 
writer also refers to a visit paid to the place by King Henry oi 
Castile. The fact was the P'ortrcss was betrayed to the 
Christians by a converted Moor, Ali-l-Carro, who repaired to 
Alonzo of Arcos, the governor of Tarifa, and detailed the 
almost incapable condition of the Eortress, and lhu^ induced 
the governor to attempt a surprise, which certainly had so 
much of the promise of success as lay in its being made at 
dawn on the very day after the receipt of the intelligence. 
This attempt was fortunate in leading only to the capture of a 
small party of Moorish soldiers, who, after being tortured, gave 
warnings which convinced the governor of Tarifa that more 
strength than he could employ wouM be required for success. 
He therefore sent for aid to Xeres, to the Duke of Medina- 
Sidonia, to the Count of Arcos, the head of his own funily, to 
Juan, a descendant of the slain De Guzman, and others. 
Some troops came at once, and with these, rashly as it resulted, 




the governor made an assault by storm, which the garrison 
defeated without much difficulty, vet with such effect in 
dispiriting the assailants, that they would have abandoned their 
purpose had it not been for further information of the great 
distress and, what was worse, disjnitcs in the garrison as to 
whether or not the Rock should be given up, and upon 
what terms ; some would have been content with their lives ; 
others held out for the honours of w^ir ; a third party 
demanded both of these, and safe conveyance for all their 
properties to the Granadian capital. This news of the state 
of affairs within was iralned by means of a deserter, a second 
traitor. But for this the attack it could not yet be called a 
siege — wouKl have been considered hopeless. While the 
Christians were weighing the chances of a second attempt 
which nn"ght end in their own ruin or hasten the decision of 
the Moorish garrison, a party of the besieged sent to offer a 
capitulation, provided they were permitted to leave the place 
with all their property. Alonzo of Arcos had hardly looked 
f)r so ready a conquest as this implied, yet, strange to say, 
dissensions were as rife without as within Gibraltar j so he was 
compelled to evade a reply by declaring his necessity to wait 
the coming of a greater authority, who was hourly expected in 
the camp. It was not lono; before this great personage arrived, 
being Rodrlgo, son of the Count of Arcos, who in obedience 
to the summons sent by Alfonso, entered the camp with a 
very welcome reinforcement. The Arab governor of Gibraltar 
now issued forth to treat for surrender, so eagerly does the 
hardly-pressed garrison seem to have sought to be rid of the 
charge which, nevertheless, they had bravely defended by force 
of arms. The young Count of Arcos, however, such was the 
condition of the besiegers ('), declared himself unable to grant 
conditions of any sort without the consent of his own father 

2 A 


and the Duke of Mcdina-Sldonia, who were expected soon to 
arrive in the camp. This absurd game of hide-and-seek might 
have continued longer, and the chance of capturing the place 
lost by the Spaniards, if it had not been for the promptitude of 
R(^drio-o, who sent forward a troop of his own followers and 
took possession of the city gates ; while the garrison, wisely 
saw that where there was no leader potent enough to give 
a oruarantce, their own safctv would be best consulted by 
continuing to occupy the keep, to which accordingly they 
retreated, and stood, as it were, at bay within its ancient walls. 
Thus, as the Rock passed by means ^{ one Rodcric to the 
dominion of the Arab invaders of Spain, so, after seven cen- 
turies and a half had elapsed (seven hundred and fifty-one 
years), it reverted to the Christians by means of a second an.d 
more fortunate Roderic. 

This Ponce de Leon, bold as he was, incurred the profound 
displeasure of the Duke of Medina-Sidonia, when this dignitary, 
who was a little kinir in his wav, joined the Christian armv. 
It was of crcat importance to the latter that possession ot 
Gibraltar should be his, insomuch as his lands lay largely 
round about it, and he was more interested in keeping un- 
pleasant neighbours away from a place which had already 
proved a rock of otlence to his power, riches, and dignity. 
The young Count of Arcos was by no means willing to yield, 
even to the ereat Duke, the authoritv and means for di^:tinction 
which rii^ht of capture would confer upon himself and his 
family. A violent quarrel ensued on this point between the 
leaders, and was at one time likely to end in blows. This 
deplorable result was, however, avoided, rather than decided, 
by the nobles consenting to enter the fortress at the same 
instant, and the point of honour was settled by the setting up 
of their banners at the same moment. 





\ \ 

The Spanish historians tell us that a large share of the 
honour which accrued by the capture of Gibraltar was 
popularly given to the Alcalde of Tarifa, the King Henry IV. 
of Castile— who, by the bye, can hardly be said to have 
deserved his soubriquet of ''The Weak" — by way of 
rewardinir him, created him Alcalde of Seville, and when 
Rodrigo died, in 14.77, ^'^^ '^'^^ interred in the convent of the 
C.irthusians in that city \ on his tomb was engraved the 
following inscription : 

'' Here lie< interred the much-honoured Alonzo de Arcos, 
of Tarifa, who recovered Gibraltar from the enemies of our 
holy faith. He departed this life in the year 1477, having 
been a o-reat benefactor to this church.'*^ 

When Henry IV. learnt that Gibraltar had been conquered, 
his heart was full of joy, and he appointed the Duke of Medina- 
Sidonia to the charge of the place, but took care, however, to 
proclaim it as a fief of his crown, and even, by way of extra 
security, added to the royal titles that of Lord ot Gibraltar. 
He conferred armorial distinction upon the place by granting 
the seal which is engraved on the title-page of this book, 
namely, Gules^ a castle proper, with a key pendant at the 
gate, 5;-, and the motto, "- Insignia Montis Calpc ;'' thus 
indicating at once the character and importance of the fortress 
of the Rock, in reference to the kingdom of Castile. In 
I^ecember of the year of the capture the king appoiiited 
Pedro de Porras to be his governor of the place, and placed 
under its jurisdiction the city and district of Algeciras, con- 
ferring at the same time many privileges upon such men and 
their families who chose to settle there, following in this 
respect the example of Ferdinand IV., whose remarkable 

* The H'ntory of Gibraltar. By Lopez de Ayala. 







provisions to this end we have already described when 
treating of the First Siege. Thus : " As, by the grace 
of God, the city of Gibraltar was taken from the Moors, 
enemies of our Holy Catholic Faith, and is now belonging to 
me and my royal crown, and as the city guards the Straits so 
that there may not pass to the king or kingdom of Granada 
assistance in men, horses, arms, nor provisions ; and as the 
said city has but few inhabitants, and that to people it I ought 
to bestow grace and favour on those who choose to go and 
dwell there, and remain continually, with their wives and 
children, so that they may be the more di>pc)Ned to serve me 
and defend and protect the said city, and guard the Straits •, it is 
therefore my favour to grant as follows." The condition and 
privileges thus referred to are then recited at length. [Jyala.) 
Abu Ismail, distressed bv the le)ss of Cjibr.dtar, ArchiJoiki 
and other important places, which happened to him about the 
same time, applied to Henry I\'. to grant him a truce far 
awhile, and obtained the request. Two vears atter the capture 
of the Rock the Castilian king visited the place, and superseded 
Pedro de Porras, the new governor, in favour of Don Bertrand 
de la Cueva, Count Laderma, the king's favourite, and 
alleged lover of the queen, who appointed as his deputy 
Stephano Villacreces. During this visit Alfonso V., of Portu- 
gal, being at Ceuta in the course of an expedition which he 
had undertaken aiiainst the Moors of Africa when he took 
Alcazar, Seguer, and Tangier, came by the invitation of 
Henry IV. to see the new acquisition, and was entertained in 
a splendid manner in hunting and feasting. This display of 
cordialitv was not destined to last the lifetime of the Portuiruese 
monarch, who before his death in 1479 was engaged in a 
disastrous war with Castile. He died of the plague, and was 
succeeded by his son John II. 


The appointment of Bertran, or Beltran de la Cueva, was 
significant of his relationship with the king as a favourite. 
The alleged intimacy of this noble with the queen, and, in 
consequence, the illegitimacy of her daughter Juana, led to 
serious insurrections, which had for their object the placing 
of the king's brother, the Infante Alfonso on the throne. 
Amons the discontented nobles was the Duke of Medina- 
Sidonia, who obtained from Alfonso a grant of Gibraltar. In 
pursuance to the rights thus conferred, the Duke undertook 
the Ninth Sieire of Gibraltar ; to describe which we shall 

The civil war between the partisans of Alfonso and those 
of Henry I\ '. continued until the death of the former in 1468. 
Alforiso*s party then sought to set up Isabella, Henry's sister, 
in his place, but she refused to deprive her brother of the 
crown. Finally an accommodation was made, whereby Henry 
agreed to divorce his queen, to disinherit Juana as illegitimate, 
and appoint Isabella his heiress in the crown of Castile. She 
married, 1462, P'erdinand of A.rragon and the two united the 
crowns of Castile and Arragon in 1474. 





»«^-.i. ^)^ i^l<alg|ftMa?a^awE^8B»'«^^ 






Jj^AVING followed the Arabian Realm of Spain 
throuL^h many changes of fortune, and being 

..|i.j;.,J|^ now arrived near its downflili and the woeful 
^^XJ^.-^JV:^ expulsion of the Moors from their seats in 
Granada — the first to be conquered of the provinces of the 
Peninsula, and the last to be held — we must spare a little time 
to trace the further hi.^tory of this once magnificent and always 
civilised people. When one looks closely to their history, it 
is obvious that as they came by war, so they lived in almost 
constant war, and ultimatel)' perished by "Wonderful 
is their history, and it has never been even fairly written ; In fict 
until the records of the Spanish nation are opened wiihout 
reserve to the student, no hope can exist of doinj; such a sub- 
ject justice. Mauro-Arabian history must be observed with 
greater opportunities, and in a nunc philosophic spirit th.ui 
before, ere the Aloslem side of the subject is reopened to the 
reader. So very narrow is the connnon view now taken that 
many still believe the conquerors of Andalus to have been in 
the main Arabs, whereas the fact was that the people of that 
race who crossed the Straits to victory were mostly Aloors .ind 
Berbers, i.e. natives of the opposite coast of Africa, otEcered, 
it may have been, by Arabs ; vet, it is interestinir to observe 
that neither Taric iior Tarif were Arabs-, that Conde's autho- 
rity says quaintly that Aluza '' contrived to persuade the 

Berbers that they were sons of the Arabs, so that they enlisted 




in great numbers in his army ; also, we know a large part 
of the o-arrison of Tcno-iers in Muza's time was comprised of 
Egyptians who had been previously conquered by the Ar.ibs. 
Thus, it is evident that although the impetus of conquest came 
from the last-named race, and unchallengeable that it was their 
ardent faith which supplied a new and most powerful motive 
to the holders of a more ancient belief which must have been 
stran^^ely cftete, vet the Aloslem conquests were as waves 
movinc- bv a central power from Arabia, but it was the power 
more than the water, or the races, which sped to victory. 

l^he impetus was already dying out long before the con- 
quest of Constantinople was effected. This was quite as 
much a political as a religious change, for the Turks had 
already subjugated Aloslems ere they came in contact with thj 
remnant of the Roman Imperial power. The very Turkish 
domini )n, fierce and strong as it was at first, and victorious 
bevond many precedents, so soon began to fade that about 
1610 o-ood Sir Richard Knolles, writing his fine old '' History 
of the Turks," little more than a century and a half after the 
capture of Constantinople by Alohammed II., defined the 
causes of the ruin of the Ottoman Empire, and described its 
decav. It was not so with the Aloors, Arabs or what you 
will of Spain, f )r these were a civilising people, who largely 
benefited the couiurv they occupied, whereas the Turkish 
power has been little else than a camp. 

After the capture of Gebal Taric by the King Don Enrique, 
as the Spanish writer has it, the accumulated disasters of the 
war compelled Aben Ismail of Granada to supplicate for a 
truce, nor did the former refuse his request. It is even said 
that Don Enrique (Henry) left (k'bal Taric (this refers to the 
visit which we have mentioned in the last chapter), and 
repaired to the Vega of Granada, there to hold conference with 







the Kine of Granada. Me was received with nuich pomp, 
and the two rulers banqueted in a magnificent pavilion, where 
they subsequently arranged the terms of their treaty. They 
exchancred irifts, and Kino; Ilenrv, when leavino; the capital ot 
his strange vassal, was accompanied on part of the road by 
many of the leading cavaliers of the city. There was peace 
in the country of Ben Ismail until his death, which happened 
in the spring of the year 870 (1464). His eldest son, Ali 
Abu-1-Hassan, who succeeded to the throne, delighted in war, 
''finding: his best pleasures in the perils and horrors thereof; 
but for that reason he became the cause of the ruin which 
ultimately befel the kingdom, and brought about the extinctioji 
of Islam in Andalus." This king had two wives, the one 
was mother of Mohammed Ab Nabillah, and the second was 
Zorava " dau2;hter of the (governor of Martos, and of the 
lineao-e of the Christians. She was the mother of two sons 
born in an evil hour, seeino^ that thev lent their aid to the 
downfall of their native country." (Cvide.) Rash as was 
Abu-1-Hassan, he was comparatively fortunate in being pre- 
vented from carrvino- out his intention to break the truce which 
his father had made with Plenry IV^, by an insurrection which 
broke out at Malaga, up.der his ou-n breather, the commander 
of that city, Abu Abdillah by name. The rebel invited the 
aid of the Christians, declaring his own ruler tq be their enemy. 
Henry was at Archidona when this matter came about, and 
received his new would-be allv with favour ; promised him 
aid, and took gifts from him. This conduct exasperated Abu 
Hassan exceedingly, and he fell upon the Christian territory 
with fierceness ; penetrating even so far as Seville, and deso- 
latincr the countrv of Cordova. So </reatlv had the Moslem 
territories shrunk, that these cities, formerly in the southern 
province of their dominions, were now considerably removed 



from their northern frontier, and at Granada these people 
might be salt! to be in sight of the sea they must soon cross. 

For successive years these frontiers wars continued, by no 
means always to the profit of the Moslems. The Christian 
o-eneral who commanded the frontiers of Granada devastated 
the district of Motejicar, and took that town by surprise. This 
captain was Rui Ponce de Leon. He was attacked, and 
afterwards expelled by the Ciranadine cavaliers. Meanwhile 
the rebellion of the Wali of Malaga continued, and was effec- 
tual in weakening the Moslem power before the Christians. 

The infatuation of this people was marvellous, seeing, as 
they must have seen, that they were not so much settling the 
claims of two chiefs as ruining; the realm which the victor 
would surely not be able to defend against the ever-watchful 
cnemv, who seemed patient, but was really waiting for the end 
to come wliich must put him in possession of the ancient 
inheritance of his race. Had it not been for the constant 
disturbances, which reached an amazing degree of violence, in 
Castile, between the partisans of Henry and Alfonso, that 
which we should now call '' the Moorish question " would 
have been settled long before it so fell out. It was by means 
of these dissensions that the next siege of Cjibralta*- happened, 
and the Rock passed to the hands of the Duke of Medina- 
Sidonia. As if to render doubly certain the destruction of the 
Moorish power in Spain, the crowns of Castile and Arragon 
were soon to be united in the persons of Ferdinand of Arragon, 
Kirig of Sicily, son of Juan II. of Arragon, and Isabella, 
daughter of John (or Juan j of Castile. She had the choice of 
Ferdinarid or Alfonso of Portugal (to say nothing of the French 
prince, the Due de Bcrri) ; in either case the uniting of two 
Spanish kingdoms would have been fatal to the Moors. It is 
hard to say whether the Arragonese with their Sicilian appanage 

2 13 


. ^^ . «™,s»»a^-^-ii,»»ipg(ig^i»i((|#Kjj«ijiBl.-!iJi.,i->* 




and great interest in the Mediterranean, or the Portuguese 
with their recent memories of war in Morocco, were the more 
bitter foes of the Moslemah. The only marriage of this magni- 
ficent heiress which could have given respite to the kingdom 
of Granada might have been with the Due de Berri. As it fell 
out the house of Nas'r was doomed, the time only was in doubt ; 
so that the settlement of the Spanish monarchies which fol- 
lowed the death of Henry IV. brought peace to his war-torn 
kingdom, and the hour of desolation to many a Granadian 
Moorish hearth. At the same time, it: must be observed, that 
even without the union of the Spanish crowns, the destruc- 
tion of that of Granada was inevitable under the pressure 
of three separated, but commonly equal enemies. Whether it 
had been by Castile, Arragon, or Portugal singly, Granada was 
certain to succumb : the combininir of two rendered the death- 
throes of the ancient kingdom sharper, and its end swifter to 

We will anticipate the flight of time wiili Ciibrahar, in order 
to conclude what is to be written here about the latter years of 
the Aloorish kingdom. Henry IV. died in 1474, and a truce 
was made by Abu-1-Hassan with his successors, as well as 
with the rebellious (if to such a pretender the so often glorious 
name of ^' rebel " can be applied) Wdll of Malaga. It was 
kept with more sincerity by the former than the latter, and seems 
never to have been more than nominal between the Moslems. 
To add to these troubles the women of the royal harcni quar- 
relled about their sons, and had parties outside the palace of 
Granada. Abu Hassan is reported to have been of a hard and 
cruel nature, and to have estranged the hearts ot many, while the 
gentle manners of his son Abu Abdallah attracted many triends. 
When the truce expired, a renewal was solicited by the former 
from Ferdinand and Isabella, who was then at Seville, and 




these rulers agreed to grant it on condition of receiving a yearly 
tribute (1476). This condition enraged Abu Hassan, who 
replied insolently to the envoys: ''Go, say to your master, 
that the kings of Granada who paid tribute to the Christians 
are now dead ; bid them know, moreover, that in Granada we 
are occupied not in gaining gold for the hands of our enemies, 
but in the making of sword-blades, and the heads of lances, for 
their hearts.'* (CondL) 

This preposterous message was followed up in the beginning 
of A.H. 886 by an attack on Zahara, a fortress between Ronda 
and Sidonia. As the Arabian writer represented this matter 
in the picturesque manner of hi:, people, the very elements 
threatened the foolhardy king; the wind blew hurricanes, and 
the rain fell in torrents, as if to second the counsel of the 
captains of Abu Hassan, who in \aiii protested against the evil 
course upon which he had entered. By assault and surprise 
he took the place, and with the boastful spirit of a fool returned 
to C}ran;ida to rejoice in the success of his own audacity. 
Even as he was thus singing, so to say, the swan-song of his 
nation, an ancient Alfakir cried out to him, ''The ruins of the 
conquered town shall be upon our own heads." It was vain 
that his captains, the priests, and wise men of Granada depre- 
cated the suicidal course upon which the king had entered. 
He renewed the war by attacks upon Castallary and Olbera, 
which were fruitless of aught but retaliation on his own 
kin'^lom. Abt)ut this time Rui Ponce de Leon assaulted 
Albania by escalade and surprise at night, and after " grievous 
carnai^e," fighting in every street, and behind barricades, the 
few remaining Moorish inhabitants were compelled to sur- 
render, the women and children who had taken refuge in a 
mosque were inhumanly put to death. Abu Hassan made a 
vain attempt to retake this city, and repeated that attempt with 






equal 111 fortune a few months later. From this expedition he 
was recalled to his capital by an insurrection among the nobles, 
who set up his son Abu Abdallah for king. By means of dis- 
simulation Abu Hassan entrapped the young prince and his 
mother Zoraya, the lady of Christian descent, to whom refer- 
ence has just been made. He locked up the pair in one ui the 
towers of the Alhambra. The capture of Alhama was a 
terrible blow to the kinirdom of Cjranada, the more so as Abu 
Hassan's people attributed the loss to him on account of his 
having provoked the war which led to that disaster. This 
place was never recovered. 

The escape of Abu Abdallah, contrived by his mother's 
means, led to a fresh rising against Abu Flassan, and furious 
fighting in Granada between the loyal and rebellious parties. 
This ended in the fliiiht of the latter to Almeria, the W^di of 
which place (the king's brother-in-law) lent his aid for the 
recovering of the Alhambra, in which he was successful, 
excepting as regarded one tower, and made an attempt to recover 
possession of the neighbouring capital which was unfortunate. 
Compelled to march to the relief of Loxa, then besieged by 
the Spaniards, Abu Abdallah left the ground free for the 
partisans of his son, who seized the whole of the Alhambra. 
The expedition to Loxa was happy In its termination for the 
Moors, and encouraged the king to think of attempting 
Alhama again, in which he was obliged to desist ; he took 
Caneti, which was something. Meanwhile, however, he 
quite lost hold in Granada, his metropolis, and was obliged to 
retreat to Malaga, where soon after (a.ii. 888) he was attacked 
by the Christians under the Grand Master of Santiago, the 
Marquis of Cadiz, and the Count of Cifuentes, who plundered 
the country, cut up the vines, destroyed the flocks and herds, 
and drove the people of Malaga almost beside themselves with 



passion and fear as they saw the columns of smoke arise in the 
air above burning homesteads and farm-buildings. [Condc.) 
The king was too much exhausted to attempt revenge for this 
incursion, but his brother and Reduan Ben Egas led strono; 
bodies of riders and cross-bow men with such effect that the 
invaders were utterly routed. T^his was one of the few late 
gleams of victory on the once resplendent arms of the Moslems 
in Spain. 

There was no peace to be had In Granada although the 
mad people saw the Christians at the gates of Aialaga, with 
the southern sea almost at their very feet. New quarrels 
sprung up; the people saw woeful omens in every event, and 
declared that the doom of the Abencerages had to be expiated; 
thus, when Abu Abdallah, the son, set out from Granada on 
an expedition against the Christians and his lance was broken 
in the archway, the superstitious folk anticipated evil for his 

Never was omen more strictly fulfilled by the event to 
which it referred, than this one. Abu Abdallah, called El 
Zaquir (the Drunkard) was utterly defeated by the Christians 
under Diego de Cordova, and after many had been slain by his 
side, he fled as far as his horse would bear him. This was 
not fu', and, being compelled to dismount, he tried to hide 
among willows and other trees which grew near the margin of 
a river. Seeing himself closely followed by three Christians, 
and fearing to lose his life, this unhappy prince declared his 
condition, and yielded himself prisoner. He was conducted to 
the Spanish camp, and treated with respect. This defeat was 
a terrible affliction to the people of Granada, for in the ruined 
army was the flower of the city. Such an effect had it that 
many of El Zaqulr's party passed over to that of his father, 
Abu Hassan. Upon this, the latter left Malaga, took posses- 

■~-:^:&^Wi-^''- , MiS'^ 

ti»?t^iiTi., i^TWhBi iifiiiiTi iittrfciiaiiiiiaaw ^rm^imjaimtjimm^' 



sion anew of the Alhambra, and fortune seemed to smile upon 

him. [Condi.) The Sultana Zoraya, mother of El Zaquir, 
sent huiic sums of nioncv for the ransom of her son, and 
counselled him to submit to any conditions which the ruler:, of 
Castile might impose in exchange for his liberty. Following 
this advice he agreed to hold his kingdom in pcrpetiul xassal- 
age to the crown of Castile, to pay yearly twelve thousand 
doubloons in gold, besides presents to be sent at once and 
three hundred Christian captives to be released at the choice 
of his own conquerors ; he was to answer in person to the 
summons of the King of Castile, and e\'en otlered to p.lace his 
own son as hostaire in the hands of the Christians. In return 
for these comprehensive promises the Spaniards were to aid 
El Zaquir in mastering the cities which remained subject to 
Abu Hassan his father. 

These provisoes wxTe agreed to after some dissension, for 
there w^re not wanting Spaniards who advised that Kl Zaquir 
should not be set free \ while the greater number of Christian 
councillors decided, as the Aloslem writers declare, in favour 
of the conditions in order that the release of the unlucky son 
of Abu Hassan might, by returning home, increase the civil 
wars, and spread wider the desolation which was rife in 
Granada. As the most crafty policy the latter was adopted. 
Ferdinand received his new vassal at Cordova, embraced him, 
and treated him as a friend. The treaty was signed, '■^and then 
did the star which is most inimical to Islam pour its malignant 
influence over Andalus, and that decree went forth which 
determined the conclusion of the Aloslem empire in that 

Further disorders followed the return of El Zaquir to 
Granada \ the party of the father fought against that of the son, 
and vice versa ^ so that the unhappy country was reduced to a 



pitiable condition. The city of Granada was the scene of a 
terrible conflict. The party of the father then proposed that 
Abdallah El Zagal, '' the vigorous," brother of Abu Hassan, 
and \\ all of Malaga, should, by assuming the crown, unite the 
nation in one. This plan was accepted by the friends of the 
son. Abu Hassan then abdicated (a.h. 889, a.d. 1483). 
El Zaquir did not readily agree to this arrangement, and 
although professing submission, sought the promised aid of the 
Christians to maintain his power. They came and committed 
great ravages in the wretched kingdom which it was their 
object utterly to ruin ; and the civil war continued with 
unabated fury, although one of the original leaders disap- 
peared from the strife. El Zagal called upon the princes 
of Africa, and even the ruler of Egypt for troops to help 
him. '^ I^ut the immutable decree, inscribed on the tablet 
of the Destinies, had now attained the period of its fulhi- 
ment, and from no part did there come succours for the 
sinking kingdom of Ciranada." Town after town submitted 
to the troops of Ferdinand and Isabella. Even Ronda, that 
strong fortress, perched upon a rock, succumbed at last after 
a siege during which, as it is asserted, bombs were for the first 
time used. 'Fhis was in 1485, May 23rd, says Mariana, yet 
El Zaquir refused to consult the interests of his people, and 
come to an accommodation with his rival, so that the treacher- 
ous aid of the Spaniards mio;ht be dispensed with. Malao-a 
was taken by means of the treachery of the Mohammedan 
governor, and the people of that city plundered without mercy 
(1488). Other cities and fortresses fell by force of arms, and 
although brief gleams of good fortune shone upon the Moslems, 
the twilight of their power was obvious; its darkness gathering 
near at hand. More dreadful, perhaps, to the feelings of a 
true Moslem was the rumour which averred that the Prince 



Yahve had become a Christian at the instance of Ouccn 
Isabella, and that this conversion was kept secret for reasons 
of state. Gaudix, Almeria, Baza, fell in turn, the people 
being allowed to retain their possessions, their allegiance being 
transferred to the Christian power. " And now the Christians, 
as well as the Aloslemah, found it difficult to believe in the 
reality of what they saw passing before them, and could not 
but think it was all a dream." Taberna and Seron followed 
of their own will, also Almunccaub and Xalcrbenia, " both 
situate on the edge of the sea." Even this was not enough to 
soothe the animosities of parties in what remained of (jianada. 
El Zaquir had promised to surrender the suzerainty of tlie 
capital to Ecrdinand when Almeria, Baza, and Cjaudix should 
be taken. P\'rdinand now deiiKinded the iultilment ot this 
condition, and the wretched Arab king was compelled to tem- 
porise. Meanwhile, El Zagal hnally departed for Africa, 
havinir sold, for five millions of maravedi^, tb.e last remains of 
his possessions to Ecrdinand •, thus the debate lay entirely 
between the least able Arab competitor and Ecrdinand and 
Isabella the potent Spanish rulers. The former struggled 
in vain ; in vain he preached a Holy War to the mountaineers 
of Granada ; in vain did these simplc-heartctl men conie 
ardently to his aid. The son of Cid \':diye, a Moslem, but 
vassal of the Christians, fought and e\ en betrayed his fellows. 
The citv of Granada itself was besieged, and \aliantlv defendctl 
by the able general Alusa Ben Abil, who might truly be called 
the last of the Moors. It was in vain \ the city surrendered 
on conditions which, if truly obscr\'ed, would ha\ e been 
favourable. Gonzales de Cordova and the representative of 
El Zaquir signed this capitulation. A\ hen the Litter produced 
it to the council of the Arabs, Musa Ben Abil made them a 
speech so noble in its sentiments, so profoundly moving in its 



adjurations that it is wonderful his wish for resistance unto 
death fell on heartless ears. He warned his fellows that the 
Christian King and Qiieen would not observe the condition 
which permitted the free exercise of the Moslem religion, he 
prophesied the horrors of the Inquisition to them ; it was all in 
vain. Not an arm was lifted, not a voice answered his ; so 
he turned his back on that degraded assembly, and in the 
highest indignation left the hall. 

" Of the valiant Musa Ben Ah'il^ El Ga-zani^ it is further re- 
lated that he then proceeded to his own house^ took a horse and his 
arjHs^ mounted^ and rode frojn the city by the gate of Elvira ; from 
that ti?nc he never appeared again ^^ 

There is hardly need to write more of this pitiful 
business ; let a few words suffice. The place was sur- 
rendered, January 2nd, 1492. El Zaquir had an appanage 
granted to him. He sold that appanage to Ecrdinand, de- 
parted to Africa, and, as the Moslem writer quoted by 
Conde says, the unfortunate prince who had not found 
courage in defence of his own country and kingdom, lost his 
life in fighting to preserve the crown of another ; for his death 
happened in the battle of the Eords of Bacaba, and while he 
was a soldier of his cousin, Ahmed Ben Merini, the last 
Sultan of Granada. Abu Abdallah Mohammed, of the 
Nasserite dynasty (Mohammed XII.), went to Eez, settled 
there with his family and adherents, built palaces in imitation 
of those of Granada, died in a.d. 1538, and was buried in 
front of the chapel, outside the Gate of the Law in that 
city. He left two children, whose descendants fell into such 
poverty that they subsisted upon public alms, the funds of 
the mosques, ^Mn fact were not better than mere beggars." 

* Condc. 

2 C 



The final expulsion of the Moslems happened In a.d. 1610, 
after manv struggles, and, according to the account of their 
writers, much violence and chicanery endured from the 
Christians, notwithstanding the conditions of their submission. 
A large number of these unfortunates settled in Sake, and 
became the famous ^' rovers '' of that port ; others went to 
Tunis, certain desert cities of which they peopled anew ; 
many found refuge in Syria, Turkey and Egypt. 

Praised he G:J ' ivho cxalteth kings and who casteth them loiv ; 
who giveth power and greatness at His pleasure ; ivho infiicteth 
poverty and humiliation according to His holy will ; the fuljilment 
of that will as Eternal yi/stice. 

Such is the epitaph of the dominion of the Arabs in Spain. 

r4 '• »» j'^'^%1 >. '''•J 


^^<i^ ^ ^^\ *" '1 C '"r^. '36. 1 

C H AFTER XX Y 1 1. 


^ip-'''fl^AVING, except for a few brief words, parted with 
ui.Si^vl ^^^ Arabs, w^e may now turn back to our subject, 
the first of their conquests in Europe, the last 
place upon which — when, in flagrant violation of 
the conditions upon which he held their country, Philip IL 
deported the remnant of the Aloblems — their footsteps were 
permitted to rest. 

We have already noted the successive appointments of Pedrt) 
de Porras, as royal deputy, or governor of the city of Cjibraltar, 
December 15th, 1462, and of Heltran de la Cueva, the reputed 
fither, by the C^een of Spain, of the Infanta Juana, or '' Bel- 
traneja," as she was called, who w^as married to Alfonso the 
African, King of Portugal. Beltran had for his lieutenant, 
or actual governor of the Eortress, Stephano (Estevan) Villa- 
creces, one of the stoutest-hearted of men, as we shall see. 
N.itural]\', Count de la Cueva and his deputy were on the 
king's side during the civil war which ensued with the repre- 
sentatives of Henry^s brother Alfonso, whom the Cortes op- 
posed to him in 1405, which contest continued until 1468, when 
Alfonso died, and his partisans endeavoured to set up his and 
Henry's sister, Isabella, in his place ; this she refused to 
permit, or oppose the right of Henry to the crown. She 
married, as we have said, Eerdinand, son of the King of Arra- 
gon j this was much against the will of Henry, who threatened 
to cancel that agreement which, on account of his sister's for- 



bearance, he had made, by which Isabella was appointed heir 
to the crown of Castile ; he further declared that on this mar- 
riage he would designate the Beltraneja as his successor. This 
intention was broken in time, and Henry IV. received his 
sister and her husband with tolerable courtesy until his death, 
in 1474. 

From Alfonso, the Duke of Medina-Sidonia obtained a 
grant of the lordship of Gibraltar, both city and fortress, and, 
naturally enough, sided against the king in the civil war. It 
was under this pretence that the duke undertook that siege of 
Gibraltar, which is one of the nio^t memorable of like occur- 
rences in its annals, and, although by no means the longest to 
endure, was resisted by not less heroic obstinacy on the part 
of the defenders than anv which preceded or succeeded it. 
Little did Villacreces think that the duke would venture to 
attack the place which the king had put into his charge, and 
which was notoriously, even at that time, in its situation at 
least, one of the strongest fortresses in Europe, It was, 
until cannon of great calibre came into the service of armies, 
one ot the most hopeless of tasks to assault Gibraltar ; the com- 
paratively harmless guns of the fifteenth century made little 
progress at any time against the Fortress, whatc\ er thcv might 
have effected with regard to the city ; while the catapults and 
mangonels of earlier wars were absurdly inefficient. Com- 
pared with these, the tremendously potent artillery used by 
Lord Heathiield and his enemies in the Great Siege evoked 
such thunders as were never heard before in the Straits, althouirh 
due to cannon such as we smile at ; to wit, 32-pounder, 
28-pounder, and 26-pounder guns were the most powerful 
weapons in use during the dreadful siege to which we have 
yet to refer. 

Such was the strencrth of Gibraltar against the little ^uns 





which were then in vogue, that at least three-fourths of the 
modern defences would have been supererogatory then ; for 
what need was there to make galleries in the Rock which could 
not be armed with guns powerful enough to throw shot or 
shell with eflect upon an enemy, and which were out of reach 
of an assailant's shot .? The means of attack which had been 
most effective against Gibraltar was blockade, with its result — • 
famine ; victory had been given to assailants who, without 
this, might have pounded at the Rock for a century without 
profit. Surprise, which has been effectual in a greater or less 
degree against many garrisons of Gibraltar, has of course been 
rendered less practicable by successively extending the fortifi- 
cations and, consequently, increasing the area which the en- 
larged vvo! ks brought into view, while they also diminished 
the number of spots wherein concealment was practicable by an 
attacking force. We have seen an instance of an attempt upon 
the Rock by means of surprise, and shall soon meet with another 
of still more remarkable kind and result. The Ninth Sieo;e was 
conducted by other means than that of its immediate and less 
fortunate forerunner : we mav conclude that the Duke of 
Aledina-Sidonia did not resort to surprise as a method 
ot assault, as did his ancestor Henry de Guzman, Count of 
Niebla, whose corpse had hung so long, as they say, from the 
battlements of the Fortress which he really essayed to capture 
by that plan. The terrible warning given by the death of this 
champion, the first of the De Guzmans of Gibraltar fame, 
not impossibly deterred others of the family from the like 
mode of attack. 

It was not, therefore, by surprise that Stephano Villacreces 
was to be attacked by one of the principal nobles of his master's 
Court ; a royal vassal, such as the duke, did not by this method 
make approaches for the conquest of one of the fortresses of 



the State. This appanage of the Crown, a frontier castle of 
the highest importance, — such was Gibraltar, not long before 
wrested from the still-powerful Moslems, — was deliberately 
assailed, the attacking force was gathered by sound of trumpet 
and beat of drum, and marched in broad daylight on its a^Lound- 
ingly impudent errand. Neither was that modified sort of 
surprise employed which is sometimes effectual by the attack 
of an overwhelming force on a badly prepared citadel. A 
simple straightforward siege was put in practice in this case, 
and, marvelling at the audacity of the attack, we cannot 
fail to see in the event the inherent weakness ot the Spanish 
Crown, broken as its authority was at the time by the ci\ il 
wars. The union of Castile with Arraiion strenirthcncd 
the throne, yet more serviceable to that end were the bold 
policy of Cardinal Ximenes and the strong sword of Gonzales 
de Cordova, the Great Captain, l^hese powers had not, how- 
ever, yet come into operation, although the tendency of policy 
in Europe was in the same direction with theirs, as was shown 
by the life and conduct of Louis XI. of France, who, at the 
date of the Ninth Siei^e of Gibraltar, was in the sixth year of 
his reign ; Edward IV. of England was labouring by no means 
without success in the same road. The course ot national lite 
at this period was towards concentration ot power in royal 
hands, and reduction of the authority of the nobles. A more 
marked example of the need of some such change as this 
would be hard to find than that of the Ninth Siege of Gibral- 
tar, undertaken as it was by a subject against his king. In 
Arragon, the nobles had proceeded so far in antagonism to 
the royal authority that, like their neighbours of Castile, they 
deposed the king, John II., father of Ferdinand, and invited 
Pedro of Portugal to succeed him. This was in 1464 ; in the 
next year took place that crowning fact of Louis XL's 



career, the Battle of Mont-thery. There was civil war in 
nearly every country in Europe — in England, of the Roses ; in 
France, of the League for the Public Good ; in Sweden, Italy, 
Naples, Rome, Genoa, Florence, scarcely a land was at peace 
— wherefore then wonder that new-conquered Granada should 
find no rest ! Still it is not to be denied that Stephano Villa- 
creces' amazement when he heard that the Duke of Medina- 
Sidonia was coming against the Crown Fortress of Gibraltar 
was by no means unnatural. Had the Spanish Arabs or 
(jranadians attempted to recapture their ancient hold, no one 
would have marvelled ; still less would they have done so if the 
Sultan of Fez had tried to win ag;iin the tete-r/e-po?7t^ which had 
so often aided African adventure in Europe. John the African, 
King of Portugal, had by no means broken the power of the 
Merine Dynasty of Fez, and Almagreb was ever potent on 
the sea. 'Fhere, however, had been a treaty with the Moors 
u'hich assured Stephano of peace from that side ; the Mauri- 
tanians could not well attack him unawares on the Rock ; 
little did he look for danger from homewards and on the land 
side— n real, terrible danger to last for many months, and 
treason which was to be successful after all. 

Villacreces was, nevertheless, although astonished, not the 
man either to submit at once to such an assault or to neglect 
means which might bring help to his garrison. He called in 
such forces as he could command, gathered what stores were 
available within his district, which now included the old com- 
mune of Algeciras, city and country ; he strengthened his weaker 
posts so well as it might be done in the few days which inter- 
vened to the news and its fulfilment. Above all, he hurried 
messengers to Heltran de la Cueva, his patron and principal, to 
King Henry IV. with pravcrs for aid, which neither was in a 
position to grant, excejit by commands to the folks who were 



settled uiu'.er the custodian of the Rock and its neighbourhood, 
that they should aid Stephano de Villacreces by every means 
in their power, by person as well as by goods. Neither Beltran 
nor his master were able to leave other troubled parts of Spain, 
or nccrlect the task of watching Isabella, Portugal, Arragon, 
and the rebellious Castilian peers. 

Thus left to his own resources, it rnubt be admitted that 
Villacreces did wonders and showed how worthily he was m 
command of the great castle. He gathered stores, arms, and 
men; but as he had not enough of either to Justify an attempt 
to ho'ld the city of Gibraltar, was at once compelled to abandon 
it, and thus admit the enemy to the advantage of shelter close 
under his walls. Unavoidable as this must have been, it was 
the first of many misfortunes to fall on the head of stout 
Stephano. He seems to have been fairly provided with arms, 
indifferently well stocked with provisions, and, for the place 
to be defended, was by no means badly off in the first case for 
men. But, with all these, he was in no case to oppose a 
lengthy siege, such as that which was at hand turned out to 
be.'' In all these respects Villacreces was fiu from being equal 
to his assailants ; worse than otherwise was it for him, that, 
without some turn of fortune in favour of King Henrv, there 
was no chance of help ; Henry's luck had no turn until atter 

all was over. 

Boldly marched the duke and all his feudal array against the 
king's castle ; without question or debate he took possession of 
the^city of Gibraltar and its mixed population to boot, in his 
own name, and by virtue of a patent from Alfonso, the nominal 
head of the rebel party. Meanwhile the king's commander had 
retreated to the Fortress, which the duke at once attacked 
with all his power, making assault after assault in the manner 
of a regular siege, such as, mdeed, the matter was ; for the 




duke's armament was of great strength, and amply provided 
with materials m guns, stores and provisions, besides greatly 
outnumbering the defenders in men. This siege began in 
1406, and was continued with rigour and determination that 
was equalled by the spirit of the unfortunate garrison, who 
endured the hardships thus brought upon them with extra- 
ordinary courage and fortitude. The place was battered with 
artillery and such other means of attack as were then employed 
in reo-ular warfare. All this while the Aloors must, with no 
small satisfaction, have looked on at the distresses and violence 
of their conquerors; but we do not learn that Villacreces 
imitated the false policy of so many of his predecessors in 
charge of the Rock, by calling for the aid of the enemies of 
his country and faith on either side of the Straits. Having 
borne the utmost efforts of his foes for about ten months, the 
captain still held fast to his post ; although food became scarcer 
and yet scarcer in his garrison, there seemed no immediate 
prospect of a surrender. I'he main hopes of the defenders 
looked to the royal power for deliverance, but this came not in 
answer to the entreaties of Villacreces. Undeterred, therefore, 
by the failure of his strenuous efforts, the Duke of Medina- 
Sidonia called to his aid a new body of troops and a larger 
amount of stores and arms, and placed the whole under the 
command of Henry his son, the very man into whose hands 
the successor of King Henry resigned the Rock in days that 
were soon to arrive, and who thereafter did everything which 
was practicable to keep the Fortress in possession of his house, 
as, indeed, it remained for a long period of time. King Henry 
all this while was disabled from relieving his faithful servant in 
his need, and hardly powerful enough to hold out against the 
enemies of his throne. The fresh troops of the De Guzmans 
left no hour unemployed in their work; they stopped the few 

2 D 






supplies which the governor sought abroad for the garrison, 
and by this means reduced them to extremities of famine and 
distress. The fresh troops brought cannon of greater power 
than had been hitherto employed against the Rock, and used 
them with such fury and constancy that the walls of the 
castle were ?t length breached in many places ; nevertheless 
the garrison did not lose hearts of courage, but stood niaiifully 
in the gaps where their assailants made assaults at times of 
their own choosing, and wearied, if thev did not master, the 
valiant defenders.^ The loss of the city to the latter was of 
incalculable importance to a body of men who could not re- 
plenish their stores or obtain aid of other kinds from without 
their battered walls. At la>t a grand attack upon the breaches 
by an overwhelming force drove the governor from the outer 
cincture of the Fortress to the innermost defence, or Calahorra, 
that famous keep which was yet capable of holding us defenders 
for a while. Bravely the garrison retreated to this their final 
refucre, and it seemed as if the last man would be slain or starved 
ere "the duke's partv got the victory. Five months more, 
being nearly sixteen momhs in all, did Villacreces and his men 
keep\old upon their last retreat ; their proper food failed, they 
devoured the wild shrubs and pitiful herbage which grew ni 
no great store about their walls, and consumed the leather of 
their boots and girdles ere the less faithful of their number 
escaped to the enemy's camp. It appears as if these defections 
broke the hitherto indomitable spirit of Villacreces and his 
soldiers more than their previous sufferings. At last, in June 
of the second year of the siege, the surrender was made, and 
Henry de Guzman took possession, in the name ot' his father, 
of the place which had taxed the strength and resources of his 
powerful and wealthy house. Thus ended the Ninth Siege of 
Gibraltar ; by this means the Fortress repassed into the hands 

of the most potent noble in the south of Spain, who had been 
compelled to deliver it as the prize of that sovereign, from 
whom, bv this extraordinary conduct, he again took it. 

The duke's triumph — in this world at least — was not des- 
tined to last long ; in less than twelve months after its achieve- 
ment he died. Henry de Guzman, the energetic captor of 
Ciibraltar, followed his father in dignity and power as second 
Duke and fourth Count of Niebla ; he became one of the 
most famous of a flunous family, one member of which, in 
after years, gave the English no small amount of trouble and 
alarm while commanding the Armada of Philip H. in 1588. 
If a refined spirit of revenge chose to gratify itself in such a 
manner, satisfaction might be obtainable in the thought that we 
English have long held that very Fortress which the second 
duke bought at so great a price, whose descendant failed 
completely in ruining our country. 'Fhc De Guzmans surely 
owed us something on account of that '' Invincible" Armada ! 






• !• 


• _• 

^ -.^* 







is characteristic of such a sovereign as Henry the 
Weak, of Castile, that he granted what he had of 
'•^ff> authority in Gibraltar to the son of the man whose 
•^^ni^-i power had been employed to its utmost against 
himself, and upon that very spot. It seems almost to follow 
as a matter of course, that this son should have been the 
active agent of his fuher in rebellion, the slayer of the king's 
faithful subject and captor of the royal fortress. The state 
of Spain under the administration of such a rule need hardly 
be described ; so far as words can picture it, Prescott, the 
historian of Ferdinand and Isabella and their kingdom, has 
done so ; to his admirable work our readers should turn for an 
account of what took place in the Peninsula at the period 
in question. 

In less than two years after the Ninth Siege of Gibraltar had 
deprived King Henry IV. of his royal right in the place, that 
monarch, if he cm be called such, who had a host of masters 
and at least a score of advisers, actually granted to Henry de 
Guzman not only a conhrniation oi^ but additions to con- 
cessions, which were made before the siege, and as if r\l)cllion 
did not effect those rights. Thus, the king yielded to the 
duke's claims on the lordship and gave him possession of the 
place. No doubt King Henry made this grant with a personal 
motive, for it was done while negotiations for the marriage of 








^^^T^T is characteristic of such a sovereign as Henry the 
Weak, of Castile, that he granted what he had of 
authority in Gibraltar to the son of the man whose 
power had been employed to its utmost against 
himself, and upon that very spot. It seems almost to follow 
as a matter of course, that this son should have been the 
active agent of his father in rebellion, the slayer of the king's 
faithful subject and captor of the royal fortress. The state 
of Spain under the administration of such a rule need hardly 
be described ; so far as words can picture it, Prescott, the 
historian of Ferdinand and Isabella and their kingdom, has 
done so ; to his admirable work our readers should turn for an 
account of what took place in the Peninsula at the period 
in question. 

In less than two years after the Ninth Siege of Gibraltar had 
deprived King Henry IV. of his royal right in the place, that 
monarch, if he can be called such, who had a host of masters 
and at least a score of advisers, actually granted to Henry de 
Guzman not onlv a confirmation of, but additions to con- 
cessions, which were made before the siege, and as if rebellion 
did not effect those rights. Thus, the king yielded to the 
duke's claims on the lordship and gave luiu possession of the 
place. No doubt King Flenry made this grant with a personal 
motive, for it was done while negotiations for the marriage of 





B'fr****" se^s-TBra 


i / 



P'erdinand of Arragon with his sister Isabella were in progress; 
a marriage which the king knew would blank all his hopes for 
the Beltrancja's succession to the throne of Castile. The ap- 
parent object of the concession was to detach the young 
Duke dc Aledina-Sidonia and all his power from the Arrago- 
nese party. The grant was made in June (3rd), 1469, or 
three months before the union of Isabella with Ferdinand took 
place at V'alladolid, and after months of procrastination and 
the intervention of every obstacle which the king and the 
party of the Beltraneja could create. This grant, as if to 
humihate the donor, was in the following terms, and referred 
to the original capture of the place from the Moors, which 
nevertheless was achieved by Ponce de Leon rather than De 
Guzman, but made no reference to the former as the real 
winner. "• Bearing in mind how Don Henrique de Guzman, 
my uncle, the Count of Niebla, your grandfather, copying the 
fidelity and good intentions of his ancestors and'descendants, 
and the royal race from which he sprung, went with all his 
knights and retainers at his own expense to besiege and attack 
the city of Gibraltar, then held by the Moors, to redeem it to 
the faith and service of our Lord and to subject it to my royal 
crown ; how, also, that in that siege there fell a great number 
of knights and people of his house, and that he himself was 
buried in the fortress of the said city* (chapel of the Cala- 
horra) ; and that the same desire being renewed in Don Juan 
de Guzman, your father,! ^^ conquer the said city, he finally 

• yiyj/j. No mention here or notice of the hanging out of the De Guzman's body 
from one of the turrets over the gate of the Barcina, at Gibraltar, a matter, doubtless, 
too painful to be mentioned, or altogether untrue, yet thoroughly in keeping with the 
manners of the time and place, and not without historical precedent in that same 
land j bce before ot Pedro of Castile. 

+ No mention here of what Duke Henry, then heir-apparent to the De Guzmans, 
did before the same place, and at too recent a time to have been forgotten. 

JiMWWNfcMft^i^WBf Ml— It^ 



got possession of, and reduced it to our holy faith and obedi- 
ence to me i^ that he peopled it, fortified it and provided it with 
supplies in case of need. "f To this follows the grant of the 
place to the De Guzmans for ever, with all its appurtenances, 
powers and advantages. 

With this prodigious increase of dignity, it is not impossible 
that the Duke of Medina-Sidonia was, for the time at least, 
satisfied, and his enmity to the Crown appeased during the 
civil wars which intervened to the marriage of Ferdinand with 
Isabella and the death of King Henry. The latter event 
happened December nth, 1474, after his Majesty had reigned 
with almost unparalleled ill-fortune for his subjects and un- 
deniable discredit to himself. His reign lasted twenty years— 
i.e. from 1454 to 1474. The day after the death of the king, 
his sister Isabella was called to the throne, and, practically, the 
policy of Castile was guided by Ferdinand of Arragon. From 
the new rulers the Duke of Medina-Sidonia obtained a further 
confirmation of his claim, and the title of Marquis of Gibraltar, 
a distinction which, however apt to the situation of the place, 
would seem inconsistent with that royal dignity which was 
likewise derived from the Rock. This Duke Henry took full 
part in those wars which destroyed the ^Moorish kingdom ot 
Granada, of which we have already given a sketch. 

Ayala tells us that Isabella of Castile, acting, doubtless, with 
the counsel of her astute husband, whose entire policy wms 

* Not a word about the Ninth Siege, not a hint of stout Estcban de Villacreces and 
his brave garrison, such a reference being no doubt unpleasant for both parties. 

t A striking admission this from the monarch whose proclamation we have alreads 
cited with the date December 15th, 1462, or barely three years and a half before the 
above appears; by virtue of which the district of Algeciras was added to Gibraltar, a 
district to which it appears the De Guzman had not a shadow of a claim such as he 
might put forth on account of Gibraltar; the charter, however, states that Ring Henry 
followed the laws of his realm in thus rewarding the captor. 





I I 

opposed to such aggrandisement of a subject as the conces- 
sion of Gibraltar to the De Guzmans effected, tried every 
means in her power to induce the duke to surrender the Rock 
to the Crown, even by offering to exchange for it the city of 
Utrcra. Wc learn thus much from Avala, who adds that 
Duke Henry utterly refused to yield the place on terms which, 
however profitable and honourable, would have left his great 
estates in the neighbourhood without that defence and prestige 
which possession of Gibraltar afforded. It was also a matter of 
great importance to him to retain Gibraltar as a central depot 
for his tunny-fisheries, which extended along the coast in its 
neighbourhood for a considerable distance. 'I he duke persisted 
in this refusal until his death in August, 1492, about six months 
after the surrender of Granada to P^erdinand, and the complete 
subversion of the Moorish kingdom of that province. The 
third J3uke of Medina-Sidonia, Juan I., was in by no means 
so fortunate a position as his father had been in dealing with 
the exigent King of Castile ; it was a very different matter 
to deal with Henry IV., harassed on all sides and hampered by 
favourites who played with, if they did not insult, the weakness 
of his character, and to be brought face to face with the astute, 
victorious, and resolute P\Tdinand, to say nothing of his not 
less statesmanlike wife, Isabella the Catholic. When Duke 
Juan applied to the latter for a renewal of his grant and 
privileges in Gibraltar, she undertook to confirm all, but in- 
sisted that the Rock and Fortress should be restored to the 
Crown of Castile. Juan protested against this apparently 
unreasonable condition, and was successful in his application 
{Ayala). This decision was undisturbed for a long time. 
The place w^as used by Ferdinand in 1497 in his invasion of 
Africa, thus reversing the former service of the Rock ; this 
time the Chribtians attacked Africa by its means. In 1499 




the Moors were expelled from Spain ; and the Rock, with the 
neiiihbourino: forts, saw the last of its aiK^ient masters. 

It should here be noted that the nei<^hbourhood of Gibraltar 
retained its ancient maritime serviceableness and was exalted 
in fame about this time by means of the voyage of Columbus 
from Pinto, August 3rd, 1492. Also that Prince Henry of 
Portuo-al, one of the most illustrious and successful encouragers 
of geographical discovery, built on the Cape of Sagres, not far 
from Cape St. Vincent, a sea-refuge, near to where, it is belie\ cd, 
his famous place of retirement and study was situated. It is 
further interesting to Englishmen to recollect that about this 
time, 1501, Katherine of Arragon, daughter of Ferdinand and 
Isabella, was married to Arthur, Prince of Wales, son of Henry 
VII., brother of Henry V HI., whom she married for her second 
husband, with noteworthy effect upon the history of this island 
and kinordom. In 1510, Ferdinand agam att:icked the northern 
coast of Africa. 

From Lopez de Ayala's capital history of Gibraltar, to which 
we are indebted largely in this portion of our history, and which 
will supply to the inquiring student many curious and impor- 
tant details of the subject, we have knowledge that, by some 
means not fully expressed, Isabella succeeded in inducing or 
compelling the Duke of Medina-Sidonia to surrender his rights 
in Gibraltar. This happened in 1 501, when the place was 
formally yielded to a new governor, Garcilaso dc la V^ega, 
Knight of Castile, who, in accordance to a decree dated from 
Toledo, December 22nd, 1501, arrived at the Fortress in 
January of the following year, and made known the object ot 
his mission to the authorities, who were assembled in the 
Orange Court Yard, in front of the principal church. The 
royal decree was read, ordering the immediate surrender to 
their Majesties of the city, fortress, and district of Gibraltar, 



together with all the archives and emblems of justice and 
authority. The ceremony, accompanied by shouts of "Long ' 
live the King," was solemnly performed ; wands of office 
were presented to Garcilaso, and he forthwith took possession 
of the castle. The keys of all the torts, towers, and gates 
were surrendered, together with the stores, arms, ammunition, 
and all other articles, including the wooden coffin of Henry 
de Ciuzman, the Count of Niebla, who perished under the 
walls of the Fortress. Ciarcilaso next assembled the magistrates 
of the citv and other authorities and nominated Diego Lopez 
de Haro to be his Lieutenant and Alcalde of the Castle.""^ 

'Fhis annexation to the Crown seems to have been very 
satlsfiictorv to the inhabitants of Cjibraltar ; at their petition a 
coat of arms, similar to that which appears on our title-page, 
was granted to the city, its privileges were renewed, and the 
principal church rebuilt (Sayer). Anticipating the Spanish 
practice with regard to modern Ceuta, Gibraltar was devoted 
to the reception of criminals, who were employed on the walls 
and other works, maritime and defensive. Not only on this 
account, but by means of a passage in her will, does the interest 
of Isabella in Cjibraltar become evident. Dying in 1504, her 
Majesty thus testified her wishes : '''It is my will and desire, 
insomuch as the city of Gibraltar has been surrendered by 
Don Henrv de Ciuzman, has been restored to the royal Crown, 
and been inserted among its titles, that it shall for ever so 
remain. I ask and require of the kings, my successors, that 
they may hold and retain the said city for themselves and in 
their own possession^ and that no alienation of it, or any part of 
it, or of its jurisdiction, civil or criminal, shall ever be made 
from the Crown of Spain." It would be difficult to invent a 

* Lopez de Ayala, Historia de Gibraltar ; also Sayer, The History of Gibraltar. 

2 E 




Stronger proof of the great idea of Gibraltar and its impor- 
tancc^o the CastiUan Crown than that which this last solemn 
injunction of the queen expresses so unmi^takeably. it was 
Isabella's final command that ''no alienation of the whole or 
part'* of the place should be made. 

In the disturbances which followed the death of the queen, 
nothing affected the royal ownership of the Rock. We need 
not enter into the history of these events, except to remark 
that their effect was to unsettle men's minds in Spain, and, 
probably, that to them was in no small measure due the 
renewed attempt of the De Guzmans on the Rock, which 
constituted the Tenth Siege. 

Gibraltar havino; been transferred in this very unsatisfactory 
fashion, Juan de Guzman determined, if he could so contrive, 
during the troubles which followed the death of Isabella, to 
retake the place by arms. In 1506 his son Henry gathered 
the forces of his house once more at the foot of the Rock ; but 
news of his intention having been conveyed to the governor, 
no surprise was practicable, and assistance was sought from 
the Captain-General of Granada-^ /.t-. the king's officer a 
flict which is siiinificant of the changed position of the king 
and nobles. A coup-de-main being hopeless, the besieger 
blockaded the city during four months, after which, under the 
advice of the Archbishop of Seville and others, the attempt was 
given up, and ample reparations made to all those within the 
district whose property had been injured. Thus ended the 
Tenth Sieo-e of Gibraltar, the only bloodless one on record. 

Charles V. succeeded Ferdinand the Catholic, and with 
unparalleled fortune united, under his hand, a vast share of 
the Continent of Europe. He was aware, says a Spanish 
authority, of the danger to which such a place as (lihraltar was 
exposed by the revolutionary disturbances to which Spam was 



then subject. He accordingly employed Rodrigo de Bazan as 
governor, and wrote in reply to complaints made to him about the 
blockade by the De Guzmans, thanking the people for their 
good service to the Crown, promising remuneration"^ for the 
losses they had suffered, and urging a continuance in their 
duty.f There was peace in Gibraltar in Rodrigo Bazan's 
time i the monastery of St. Francis was rebuilt and much 
cnlara;ed. Portillo mentions an English monk of that house 
by the name of Friar Raphael as an exemplary individual. 
How strongly sounds this word of respect for a countryman 
of (Hirs who lived in so remote a place and died so long ago I 

'Fhe trade with Barbary flourished, and Gibraltar benefited 
by the intercourse of the countries. This comfortable state 
o^ things continued, and is as characteristic of the history of a 
great fortress as the facts that the castle had decayed, and that a 
petition was sent to the emperor, praying that it might be 
restored. 'Fhe wall, particularly on the south side, says Ayala, 
was greatly dilapidated, the stores were diminished, and the 
troops too few for the service. Rodrigo Bazan continued in 
his office until 1553, when Alvaro Bazan, his namesake, if 
not his relative, succeeded to the post ; this appointment 
marks as clearly as anvthing can do the growing corruption of 
Spain. 'Fhis Governor of Gibraltar was not only an absentee, but 
too young to perform the duties of his office ; ''before he was 
of an age to do that which he was bound to perform," writes the 
Spanish historian, with humour which might have been uncon- 

* A distinct reference to Gibraltar appeared on a coin of this reign, and was con- 
tinued till lately. This coin is still much esteemed in the East, and well known in 
English trade a? the Spanish pillar dollar, so called from its exhibiting the Pillars of 
Hercules, in conjunction with the royal arms and the motto Plus ultra. The old 
motto was Non plus ultra. 

t Probably the remuneration referred to here is that which De Guzman supplied. 



sclous, the place fell out of right keeping ; it seems clear that 
official peculation, for which, ever since the days of Vasco 
Perez de Meira, until, of course, the present age, the Rock has 
been famous, was rife there in the reign of Charles V. in 
reply to remonstrances, plans for repairing and extending the 
fortifications were prepared , but nothing was done in con- 
sequence, and the result was one of the most noteworthy 
events in our subject's history. 





(^^^SJ^ip^ HAT a sovereign, such as Charles V. or his imme- 

t. -.?!!. t^ jj^j.^ successor, should have allowed our Fortress to 
^ be exposed to an attack of a nature such as that to 
which we now refer, is one of the curiously signifi- 
cant tacts of the age in question ; into its history we 
cannot inquire. Circat as was the Spanish power on land, it 
was far less so at sea i the history of the contests between our 
own country and the Empire shows this even more plainly 
than the growth and vast extent of the operations of the 
Corsairs, who, under Hayradin Barba-rossa (Khair-eddin, the 
'^ C;ood of the Faith " ), were really among the great powers of that 
day. It occurred to this chieftain that Gibraltar, of all places, 
was the best adapted to his purpose of obtaining footing in the 
west of the Mediterranean. Christian renegades and Moorish 
prisoners escaped from the Rock, which was, as we said before, 
a penal settlement, related to him the peculiar advantages of 
the place, described its defenceless state under Alvaro Bazan 
and urged an attempt to take it. 

I1ie Spanish fleet was in Sicily, the emperor was in Flanders 
and wrecking the freedom of the city of Ghent, so that the 
Spaniards were unprepared when the Corsairs made one of their 
characteristic dashes, hastily fitting out a fleet that was manned 
at the oars by a thousand Christian slaves and provided with 
stores by means of promises to pay out of the proceeds of the 
plunder which was yet to be captured. Armed, further, by 
two thousand soldiers, this fleet, under the command of the 



soldier Garamani and the sailor D.ill-Hamet, set sail from 
Algiers on the 24th August, 1 540, and approached Gihraltar 
without interruption. The place was almost defenceless, its walls 
were neglected, open at all times to attack ; and although It 
seems incredible, we are assured that although warnings had 
been conveyed to Gibraltar of the destination of the Corsairs, 
nobody troubled himself about them ere the tornado burst and it 
was too late to resist. Although it was not until the bcginnmg 
of September that this event happened, the invaders were 
allowed, says Ayala, to land at the south of the Rock, to 
destroy the chapel and hermitage of the Virgin, close to where 
the lit'-hthouse now stands, plunder the nei<j;hbourh()od and 
attack the castle. The city was gutted, the people were 
seized as slaves and, with their propcrtv, put on board the 
invadincr galleys ere help came sufficient to repel the marauders 
from the castle where the few troops retreated and had 
enough to do to hold their own ; the surprised garrison, as it 
was, suffered greatly. Meanwhile, checked in their attack 
and bent more on plunder than possession, the invaders took 
all they could deal with, and keeping along by the Rock with 
their ships, landed again at the Orange Grove and devastated 
the place in a savage manner. Thence, making oft with the 
prisoners and bootv, the Corsairs were bribed with se\en 
thousand ducats for the ransom of the prisoners — half in mer- 
chandise, half in money. On this voluntary ransom, which 
was borrowed from the Marquis of Tarlfa, they stipulated that 
the Turkish slaves who were confined in Gibraltar should he 
released, the prisoners taken during the landing set free, and, 
which was really the most audacious proposal ot all, that 
^^ their galleys should be allowed in future to take water at the 
wells of Gibraltar" (Jyala). 

These conditions were agreed to , but the difficulty in getting 



together the money was really or affectedly so great, that the 
Corsairs, fearing to fall into a trap by means of the Spanish 
fleet, departed for Algiers (September 12th). Two days after- 
wards the money arrived from Tarifa and a vessel was sent with 
it to overtake them, but ineffectually, and the aid of the King of 
Fez sought with the view to a ransom. The captives were left 
at Ciomera for a price agreed on (Jyala). 

Strange as it may seem, all this was effected while the Spanish 
fleet was not further off than at Carthagena. Don Bernardino 
de Mendoza, Its commander, on hearing what had taken 
place at his own headquarters, put to sea and, coming up 
with the Corsairs— who do not seem to have taken much 
trouble to get out of his way and were, indeed, according to 
the Spanish account, double the force of their enemies— made 
an attack upon them, near the island of Arbolan. The prin- 
cipal galley of the Corsairs, with the commanders on board, 
was defeated ; Caramani was killed and Hamet captured, 
with about four hundred of the marauders. The liberation of 
more than eight hundred Christian captives was a fruit of this 
victory and among the more important results was the instilling 
wholesome fear to the Corsairs' minds. Something was, soon 
after this amazing event, done towards securing the Rock 
a'^alnst similar attacks and by means of rebuilding the Land 
Port Cjatc, dioaino^ a ditch and erecting a battery; it was not 
until 1552, twelve years afterwards, that Juan Battlsta Calvi, 
of iMilan, a famous engineer, ^'erected two walls at the South 
Port (jatc, from the west upwards to the easternmost point."* 
Other fortifications were proposed, but nothing was effected. 
Surely one might say, on reading this statement, that Gibraltar 
was already in Spain. 

Afterwards called Charles V "s walls. See map. 



HE chastisement inflicted on the Corsairs was 
effectual no longer than until 1558, when five 
galleys threatened the place, but were beaten 
off. In 1567, Prince John Andrea Doria, 
Charles V.'s Admiral of the Seas, took five Turkish tiallcys in 
the Straits and, in the following year, gave a large lamp of 
silver and endowed it with oil, to burn perpetually before the 
image of the Virgin of Europa (La V'irgen de Europa), which 
stood In a chapel at the extremity of Europa Point. It is pro- 
bable that this and other lamps of which Portillo makes men- 
tion were really intended to be serviceable as beacons for the 
Port or Straits of Gibraltar ; the commanders of the galleys 
of Spain and Sicily, says that author, having presented such 
lamps and provided such supplies of fuel for them. This chapel 
was near the same spot where now stands the lighthouse (Ayala). 
In 1571, notwithstanding these repeated dangers, it was found 
necessary to construct an aqueduct, which, like the fortifica- 
tions, was so badly done that it soon became useless. In 
1575, the engineer, Eratino, inspected the place, ordered the 
construction of new works and the destruction of others which 
already existed. These new fortifications were in the directions 
of the Signal House, the Bastion of Sta Cruz, now called Jum- 
per's Battery, and the battery '' del Rosario," also another of 
which, "King's Battery," occupied the site on the north of the 
place (Bell). In 1581, the convent of the Mercenarlos Cal- 




zados was begun on the site of the older chapel of Sta Anna. 
Next, in 1587, came the monastery of Sta Clara ; the hospital 
of St. Juande Diaz, — St. John of God, — for sick seamen, was 
founded by Juan Mateos, a native of Gibraltar. In 1609-10, 
the last remnant of the Moors, comprising about six hundred 
thousand persons, was transported by Philip III., and largely 
by the way of Gibraltar, to Africa. Ayala's excuse for this 
monstrous transaction must have been ironically made ; he 
says, '' that the Spanish clergy could ill-brook the presence 
of so vast a number of ' infidels,' (as he calls them,) in the 
country, where their industry, intelligence, and skill in crafts 
would infallibly become, in a few years, dominant." Repre- 
sentations, founded on justice and common sense, were 
vainly made, in behalf of this people; at last, exactly nine 
hundred years after the entry of the Aloors by way of 
Cjibraltar, the\' were expelled thence as a race; as a nation, of 
course, the}- had ceased to exist long before. In 1 610, Juan 
de Mendoza, the Spanish admiral, conducted the last transport 
from the Rock. 

In Sull) 's '' Memoirs," book xxv. wmII be found an account of 
the transactions of his master Henry IV. of Erance, with the 
remnant of the Moors In Spain, stating how that monarch, when 
King of Navarre, entertained notions of using this people against 
the Spaniards whom they hated with the hate of a conquered 
and enslaved race. Also how, at a later time, when exasperated 
by unwise treatment, that relic of many centuries of antagonism, 
the Moslems entreated Henry to aid them In a revolt, required 
only a commander and officers, offered to furnish money 
and valiant soldiers : further, that they asked only an asylum 
in PVance, with freedom for their persons and property, and 
were not unwilling to embrace the Protestant faith of Henry 
himself, any other, In short, than that of the hated Spaniards, 

2 F 



and to colonise the then desert Landes near Bordeaux. Henry 
inquired into the prospects of success for such a movement as 
this, and, it may be through fear of his Roman CathoUc sub- 
jects, was induced to leave his would-be friends to their fate. 
They broke out in rebellion, which was suppressed with great 
cruelty, and were ultimately expelled. The expulsion was 
violently opposed by the Valencian nobles, who considered 
themselves wronged by being deprived of their slaves, for such 
had the Moors become ! 

For the sake of consecutively grouping our materials we 
have anticipated. Not content with persecuting the Moors 
who miirht, with tolerably good management, have been 
induced to become among the most valuable of his subjects, 
and who had their places in Spain by virtue of the treaties 
which Ferdinand made with the later Arab sovereigns, 
Philip III. so conducted his aftairs as to get into one of the 
hottest of wars with their High Mightinesses the States of 
Holland, and, further, contrived to enhst against himself the 
sympathies of his French neighbours. In the wars between 
the Dutch and their quondam tyrants the Spaniards, a naval 
action happened in the port of Gibraltar, which ought ne\ er 
to be omitted in its history. 7'ake what Henry IV. of 
France's minister, the great Sully, wrote about this matter in 
his incomparable '' Memoirs." He had been describing the 
efforts of the Dutch to secure the French alliance in their wars 
with Philip of Spain : 

'' Affairs were in this situation when we heard the news of 
a great naval action gained, on the 25th of April, by the fleet 
of the United Provinces over that of the Spaniards, and almo>t 
immediately after Buzenval sent us a relation of it which was 
as follows : Alvares d'Avila, the Spanish admiral, was 
ordered to cruise near the Straits of Gibraltar, to hinder the 




Dutch from entering the Mediterranean, and to deprive them of 
the trade of the Adriatic. The Dutch, to whom this was a 
most sensible mortification, gave the command of ten or 
twelve vessels to one of their ablest seamen, named Heemskerk, 
with the title of vice-admiral, and ordered him to go and 
reconnoitre this fleet and attack it. D'Avila, though nearly 
twice as strong as his enemy, yet provided a reinforcement of 
twenty-six great ships, some of which were of a thousand tons 
burthen, and augmented the number of his troops to three 
thousand five hundred men. With this accession of strength 
he thought himself so secure of victory that he brought a 
huiulred and fifty gentlemen along with him only to be 
witnesses of it. However, instead of standing out to sea, as 
he ought to have done, he posted himself under the town and 
castle of Gibraltar, that he might not be obliged to fight but 
when he thought proper. 

" Heemskerk, who had taken none of these precautions, no 
sooner perceived that his enemy seemed to fear him than he 
advanced to attack him, and immediately began the most 
furious battle that was ever fought in the memory of man. It 
lasted ei<j;ht whole hours. The Dutch vice-admiral, at the 
beginning, attacked the vessel in which the Spanish admiral 
was, grappled it, and was ready to board her. A cannon-ball, 
which wounded him in the thigh soon after the fight began, 
left him onlv a hour's life, during which, and till within a 
nu)nKnt of his death, he continued to give orders as if he felt 
no pain. When he found himself ready to expire, he delivered 
his sword to his lieutenant, obliging him and all that were with 
liim to bind themselves by an oath either to conquer or die. 
l^he lieutenant caused the same oath to be taken by the people 
of all the other vessels, when nothing is heard but a general 
crv of *• \'ictory or Death.' At length the Dutch were 





victorious ; they lost only two vessels, and about two hundred 
and fifty men ; the Spaniards lost sixteen ships ; three were 
consumed by fire, and the others, among which was the 
admiral's ship, ran aground. D'Avila, with thirty-five 
captains, fifty of his volunteers, and two thousand eight 
hundred soldiers, lost their lives in the fight ; a memorable 
action, which was not only the source of tears and affliction 
to many widows and private persons, but filled all Spain with 


"This, indeed, was finishing the war by a glorious stroke," 
writes the French minister, ^' for the negociations were not 
laid aside, but were probably pushed on with the greater vigour 
on account of it.""^ 

* Memoirs of Sullyy bk xx. 1607. 






T,^Y^ I/niOUGH the nation remained at peace, the 
f.7f U /-.. people about Gibraltar were, for a long time 
1] \\^''^ after this, constantly exposed to incursions of 
r^la^^^^-i^ those rovers with whom many of the expelled 
Moors sought revenge upon their tyrants ; to meet these evils 
watch-towers were erected along the whole coast of Ciranada 
'^ from the easternmost point to the Portuguese territory," the 
ruins of which arc to be observed in many places to this day. 
A few years before the Old Mole and the Torre del Puerto 
were repaired, and the king visited the Rock, with no incident 
of greater importance than that of being compelled, by the nar- 
rowness of the gate, to leave his carriage and enter on foot. 
On hearing complaints that his Majesty had been thus incon- 
venienced, the governor replied that the gate was not made to 
admit carriages but to keep enemies out. A fatal pestilence 
desolated Gibraltar in 1649. 

The advent of the English upon the scene was nearer at 
hand than most folks looked for at this time, for we learn by 
the letters of Oliver the Protector, that in 1656, April 28th, 
his Highness wrote from Whitehall to ^' Generals Blake and 
Montague, at sea," and engaged in war against what Mr. 
Carl\le, calls '•'■the Spaniards and their Papist Domdaniel." 
These English chieftains were then '' somewhere off Cadiz Bay," 
with a fleet which might have anticipated the feat of Rooke'. 
After discussinir if Cadiz itself might not be open to attack by 





cutting ofF the city on the island at the bridge, the Protector 
proceeded, " Whether any other place be attemptable ; espe- 
cially that of the Town and Castle of Gibraltar — which, if 
possessed and made tenable by us (to which Mr. Carlyle adds a 
note of, 'Hear, hear!') it would be an advantage to our 
trade and an annoyance to the Spaniard ; and enable us, with- 
out keeping so great a fleet on that coast, with six nimble 
frigates lodged there to do the Spaniard more harm than b)' a 
fleet, and ease our own charge !♦ It seems that these "sea- 
generals" thought either of thesj attempts impracticable with 
their force in hand. Montague replied to Secretary Thurloe, 
"" I perceive much desire that Gibraltar should be taken, my 
thoughts as to that are, in short, these, — that the likeliest way 
to get it is, by landing on the sand and cpiickiy cutting it off 
between sea and sea (a plan partly carried out ere this, as we 
showed before), or so secure our men there that they may 
hinder the intercourse of the town with the main : trigate^ lying 
near to to assist them : and it is well known that Spain never 
victualleth any place for one month. This will want four or 
five thousand men, well-officered. This is my only thv-uiiht 
which I submit at present." 

It is evident from this that Oliver clearly saw the value of 
the place, and that Montague had made search for the bist 
mode of attempting a capture ; the former decided that for the 
present nothing of this sort could be done. The great ships 
of the Eno^lish fleet were therefore ordered home under 
Montague, Blake was instructed to stay out the then coming 
winter with '"-a good squadron of tiigates, about the number 
of twentv ships, such as you shall judge proper and fit f »r 
that purpose." 

After this storm of war with England, and near evil to 
Gibraltar, the latter place had peace ; but it was evident not- 




withstanding outward signs of prosperity, mere increase of flesh, 
so to say, the decadence of Spain was going on. Philip IV. died 
in 1665, Charles 11. succeeded him and, although in some 
respects a reforming sovereign, left his dominions in an even 
worse plight than he found them ; this was by means of the 
Spanish and the old French enmity. It seems to follow that we 
should be in alliance with Spain while she was at war with 
Louis XIV. In 1693 Sir George Rooke, with an English and 
Dutch fleet, guarding a great convoy of the ships of both 
nations, fell in, June 17th, with the French fleet under Tour- 
ville, not far from Cape St. Vincent, when ensued a desperate 
fight, iluriiiL:; which the convoy escaped, and ultimately reached 
Ciibraltar, where the Spanish garrison, taking to the guns, beat 
off the I'rench ships which had followed the traders. Upon 
this Tourville opened a terrible bombardment on the town and 
Fortress, which lasted nine days, but eftected little against the 




— ^ HE peace of Ryswick, 1697, concluded the warlike 
II ''ev" operations, after the opportune arrival of the English 
^mjz. had barely saved Barcelona, three years before that 
foL^ date. Charles II. of Spain died in 1700, Novem- 
ber I St, and left his dominions to Philip of Anjou i.e, V. of 
Spain, second son of the Dauphin Louis, and grandson of 
Louis XIV. of France. The Archduke Charles, second son 
Leopold I. of Germany, claimed the throne in the right of his 
mother, Margaret Theresa, daughter of Philip IV. of Spain. 
Upon this the War of the Succession began ; and England, 
under William III., with Austria, and Holland, resolving to 
permit no union between France and Spain, joined against the 
claim of Philip V. It is famous in our history on account of the 
campaigns in Holland, Flanders, and Germany, under Marl- 
borough. When William III. died in 1702, March 8th, Anne 
came to the throne with a resolution to continue the war ; 
this was effected without much result, until in 1704 it was 
determined to attack Spain at home with the aid of the 
Portuo^uese. The En<2;lish fleet, under the orders of Sir 
George Rooke, reached Lisbon, and detached Admiral Dilkes 
to cruise in the Straits of Gibraltar, where he captured two 
Spanish vessels of war. Rooke was ordered to proceed to the 
Mediterranean and assist the defenders of Nice and Villafranca, 
but was induced by the Archduke Charles to attempt the 



capture of Barcelona ; in this he failed and, proceeding on 
his voyage, missed the French fleet at sea. 

Resolved upon doing something important with the forces 
from which so much was expected, the commanders of the 
allied fleets and troops — i.e. Landgrave George of Hesse-Darm- 
stadt; Rooke; George Byng, LordTorrington ;* Sir Cloudesley 
Shovel ; Admiral Leake and the three Dutch admirals, being 
informed that Gibraltar was open to attack, determined on that 
enterprise, which ultimately placed the Rock in the hands of the 
flnglish. As usual, the place was weak in troops and stores 
and needed repairs ; the Spanish finances had been diverted to 
more pressing objects in the war and, although the Governor 

* George Byng, a distinguished English admiral, was born at Wrotham,- Kent, in 
1663; entered the navy in 16785 when but fifteen years of age he changed service 
into the army and was for three years in garrison at Tangiers under Colonel Kirk. 
There he obtained some knowledge of the character and importance of Gibraltar. 
He then returned to the navy, made himself famous in action and long service in 
the East Indies and lent much effective aid to the placing of William IIL on the 
throne of Great Britain in 1688. He was concerned, as we shall see, in the taking of 
Gibraltar and, while in command of a squadron in the North Sea, compelled the 
Pretender with a French fleet to depart from the Frith of Forth, 1708 (Burnet, History 
cf hii own Times). He was sent with a fleet into the Baltic to watch Charles XII. of 
Sweden, 171 7; then sailed for the Mediterranean and, when near Messina, totally de- 
feated a Spanish fleet, October 19th, 1 71 9 J was created LordTorrington in 172 1 and died, 
January 17th, 1733. He had five sons, of whom the first a^d second succeeded in turn 
to the viscounty of their father ; the third, Robert, had a son who was smothered in 
the Black Hole at Calcutta, June 20th, 1756; the fourth son, John, was the unfortu- 
nate admiral who was shot by order of a court-martial, or rather by means of minis- 
terial cowardice, March 14th, 1757; the fifth son. Colonel Edward Byng, died of 
convulsions, brought on by the sight of his brother being brought to trial at Portsmouth, 
1756. Tlie shameful wrong done to Admiral John Byng is connected with the history 
of Gibraltar, as it was while refitting his fleet in the port there that he learned the 
French fleet had quitted Toulon and landed troops fjr the Siege of Minorca, then 
in English hands, for the relief of which island the admiral had been sent to sea. 
In Gibraltar Bay was held the unfortunate Council of War which must have had much 
to do with dispiriting the hopes of Byng for a victory over the French under the 
command of the Marquis de la Galisonnicre. The indecisive issue of the naval fight 
which ensued and the history of the English admiral's trial, are well known. 

2 G 





v^^nr^:^:^ HE peace of Ryswick, 1697, concluded the warlike 
"" * i^ operations, after the opportune arrival of the English 
had barely saved Barcelona, three years before that 
date. Charles II. of Spain died in 1700, Novem- 
ber 1st, and left his dominions to Philip of Anjou i.e, V. of 
Spain, second son of the Dauphin Louis, and grandson of 
Louis XIV. of France. The Archduke Charles, second son 
Leopold I. of Germany, claimed the throne in the right of his 
mother, Margaret Theresa, daughter of Philip IV. of Spain. 
Upon this the War of the Succession began ; and England, 
under William III., with Austria, and Holland, resolving to 
permit no union between France and Spain, joined against the 
claim of Philip V. It is famous in our history on account ot the 
campaigns in Holland, Flanders, and Germany, under Marl- 
borough. When William HI. died in 1702, March 8th, Anne 
came to the throne with a resolution to continue the war ; 
this was effected without much result, until in 1704 it was 
determined to attack Spain at home with the aid of the 
Portuguese. The English fleet, under the orders of Sir 
George Rooke, reached Lisbon, and detached Admiral Diikcs 
to cruise in the Straits of Gibraltar, where he captured two 
Spanish vessels of w^ar. Rooke was ordered to proceed to the 
Mediterranean and assist the defenders of Nice and Villafranca, 
but was induced by the Archduke Charles to attempt the 



capture of Barcelona ; in this he failed and, proceeding on 
his voyage, missed the French fleet at sea. 

Resolved upon doing something important with the forces 
from which so much was expected, the commanders of the 
allied fleets and troops — i.e. Landgrave George of Hesse-Darm- 
stadt; Rooke; George Byng, Lord Torrington ;* Sir Cloudesley 
Shovel ; Admiral Leake and the three Dutch admirals, being 
informed that Gibraltar was open to attack, determined on that 
enterprise, which ultimately placed the Rock in the hands of the 
English. As usual, the place was weak in troops and stores 
and needed repairs ; the Spanish finances had been diverted to 
more pressing objects in the war and, although the Governor 

♦ George Byng, a distinguished English admiral, was born at Wrotham, Kent, in 
1663 ; entered the navy in 1678 ; when but fifteen years of age he changed service 
into the army and was for three years in garrison at Tangiers under Colonel Kirk. 
There he obtained some knowledge of the character and importance of Gibraltar. 
He then returned to the navy, made himself famous in action and long service in 
the East Indies and lent much effective aid to the placing of William IIL on the 
throne of Great Britain in 1688. He was concerned, as we shall see, in the taking of 
Gibrahar and, while in command of a squaJron in the North Sea, compelled the 
Pretender with a French fleet to depart from the Frith of Forth, 1708 (Burnet, History 
cf his ozun Times). He was sent with a fleet into the Baltic to watch Charles XII. of 
Sweden, 1717; then sailed for the Mediterranean and, when near Messina, totally de- 
feated a Spanish fleet, October 19th, 171 9 j was created Lord Torrington in 1 721 and died, 
|.inuary 17th, 1733. He had five sons, of whom the first and second succeeded in turn 
to the viscounty of their father j the third, Robert, had a son who was smothered in 
the Black Hole at Calcutta, June 20th, 1756 5 the fourth son, John, was the unfortu- 
nate admiral who was shot by order of a court-martial, or rather by means of minis- 
terial cowardice, March 14th, 1757; the fifth son. Colonel Edward Byng, died ot 
convulsions, brought on by the sight of his brother being brought to trial at Portsmouth, 
1756. Tlie shameful wrong done to Admiral John Byng is connected with the history 
of Gibraltar, as it was while refitting his fleet in the port there that he learned the 
French fleet had quitted Toulon and landed troops fjr the Siege of Minorca, then 
in English hands, for the relief of which island the admiral had been sent to sea. 
In Gibraltar Bay was held the unfortunate Council of War which must have had much 
to do with dispiriting the hopes of Byng for a victory over the French under the 
command of the Marquis de l.i Galisonnicre. The indecisive issue of the naval fight 
which ensued and the history of the English admiral's trial, are well known. 

2 G 



of Gibraltar had entreated means for strengthening the Fortress, 
nothing was afforded for the purpose. 

Such was the position of Gibraltar when fate was about to 
place it in new hands. The Council of War against the Rock 
was held on board the Royal Catherine in the Bay of Tetuan, 
July 17th, 1704. It was then and there decided to make the 
attempt and, on the 2 1st of that month, the British fleet came 
to an anchor in the Bay of Gibraltar and landed five thousand 
men before the north front of the Rock, so as at once and 
effectually to cut off the receipt of supplies by the garrison. So 
little time had been lost in thi> business that the appearance 
of the ships took the garrison by surprise. Many of these 
vessels are fiimous in the history of our navy. Among them 
may be named the Essex, Captain Hubbard ; the Ranelagh, 
Admiral Byng and Capt;iin Cole; the Torbay ; Centurion; 
Grafton, Sir A. Leake -, Nassau ; St. George ; Royal Catherine, 
Admiral Sir George Rooke ; Monmouth ; Bedford, Sir Henry 
Hardy ; Royal Oak; Kent, Admiral Dilkes ; Bur ford ; Notting- 
ham ; Orford, Captain Norris ; Barfleur, Admiral Sir Cloudesley 
Shovel, and Hampton Court, Captain (afterwards Sir Charles) 
Wacrer. There were in all fortv-five ships, six frigates, seven 
fire ships, two hospital ships, two bombs and a yacht. ^ 

Prompt in all their measures, the commanders of the alhed 
forces sent, on the morning after their arrival, a demand for 
the surrender of Gibraltar to the Archduke Charles, in whose 

* As we have now arrived at a comparatively modern part of our history, the reader 
will find frequent need to consult the map which precedes this text. As to former 
sieges the old names remain in use; but in a limited degree, nevertheless, it cannot 
have been difficult to identify many of the localities which have been already named. 
In studying the Great Siege, the reader will find the map still more serviceable than 
before and, indeed, indispensable to a fair understanding of the subject. Some of the 
names of spots in Gibraltar -r.^;. *' Jumper's Kastion"— derive from the bit-c whiJi 
we now consider. 



cause as rightful king and styled Charles III. of Spain, the 
Landgrave George of Hesse-Darmstadt appeared in arms. It 
is said that the garrison consisted of not more than one hun- 
dred and fifty men, exclusive of the inhabitants, the stores, 
however, appear to have been sufficient for the needs of a 
prolonged siege ; the governor, the Marquis Diego de Salinas, 
was competent to his office and, had he been fitly backed 
by troops, might never have lost the Fortress. On receipt 
of the summons a council was held and the answer which the 
English summons produced recited the oaths of the inha- 
bitants and troops to Philip V. and professed their determination 
to adhere to its oblio^ations with their lives and fortunes. Ac- 
cording to the Spanish authorities, the garrison, all told, com- 
prised not more than five hundred^ men ; the arms were 
one hundred pieces of cannon, of heavy make for -that day. 
The Old Mole and the New Mole were garrisoned by citizens 
and militia, two hundred in the former and a smaller number 
ill the latter, the Land Port Gate was guarded by a weak 
force of invaHds, sixty in all ; in the castle were sixty-two sol- 
diers of divers arms.f On the arrival of the valiant reply 
of the little garrison, which was late on July 2ist, so prompt 
were all motions In these matters, the ships— a tremendous 
force for that age, carrying troops, which in all amounted 
to ncarlv fuir times the number of the i^arrison — received 
orders for the attack which was designed for the next morning, 
but, owing to the contrary effect of the wind, they were not 
successfully placed in time. The first offensive step was taken 
by the captain of the Dorsetshire, of eighty guns, Captam 

* The Spanish memorial to Philip V. after the capture, stated the garrison to be 
" fewer than three hundred men, a few poor and raw peasants.'' 
f Av.ila : Montr, IVnt. dc Gibraltar. 


HISTORY OF c;iFmAi rxR. 

Whittaker, who, says Saycr, was sent with hcvM^ to hum a 
PVench privateer of twelve guns which lay at the OKI Mole. 
iMore serious demonstrations followed on the morning ot the 
23rd of July ; the fleet, after throwing a few shots into the 
Fortress and receiving prompt replies, poured out its missiles 
with unflairsing: fierceness and maintained the fire until Iohli; 

00 to ^ 

after noon. Six Dutch ships and sixteen P^.nglish vessels, the 
squadrons of Vanderdusen and Byng, fronted the Line AVall 
between the heads of the Moles ; three KngliNh men-of-war, 
under Captain Hicks — a well-known name — being the Yar- 
mouth, seventy guns, under Hicks ; the Hampton Court, 
seventy guns, under the afterwards-famous Captain Wager, 
and the Tiger, fifty guns. Captain Cavendish — took up stations 
on the west of the others and the New Mole. The efforts of 
this great force soon told on the walls ; the guns on the 
New Mole were rapidly silenced and its garrison fled. Sir 
George Rooke's dispatches state that he ordered Captain 
Whittaker to make an attack on this Mole with boats, but 
Captain Hicks intercepted the signal to his more remote 
fellow-officer and anticipated the execution of the orders 
it conveyed ; with Captain Jumper, of the Lennox, seventy 
guns, he pushed to the shore, but it was to experience 
the effects of a mine which was sprung under their first 
footsteps and destroyed forty men and two otlicers. Captain 
Whittaker was more fortunate ; he took the New Mole, kept 
it, repulsed an attack of the enemy and proceeding assailed 
Jumper's Bastion. The effect of this attack was extended to the 
Line Wall ; this part, the fort on the point of the Old Mole and 
that defence itself, were successively captured by Whittaker's 
party and the marines who had been landed soon after the 
arrival of the fleet. 

It was hardlv possible to sustain such an attack as this ; the 




besieged offered to capitulate and finally surrendered with the 
honours of war, the right of retaining their property, six days 
provisions, three brass guns of difierent sizes and twelve 
rounds of ammunition. The garrison had three days allowed 
for its departure ; those, as well as the inhabitants of the 
Rock, who chose to remain might do so with full civil and 
reli'Mous rights. Oaths of alleiiiance were to be transferred to 
Charles HL by those who proposed to remain. The maga- 
ziiies were to be pointed out, as well as all useless arms and 
provisions. French subjects were to remain as prisoners of 
war. Few of the inhabitants continued in Gibraltar, the mass 
removed to St. Roque. Thus in less than three days (July 
2ist to July 24th, 1704), this famous Fortress once more un- 
derwent a change of masters, the I^rince of Hesse-Darmstadt 
took possession in the name of Charles HL Sir George Rooke, 
however, overrode this proceeding, pulled down the standard 
of Charles, set up that of Cireat l^ritain and proclaimed Queen 
Anne. A garrison of eighteen hundred Fmglish seamen was 
placed in the Fortress.* The loss of the victors was very 

Proposals have been made from time to time for the restitu- 

♦ This seems a high-handed proceeding on the part of the English admiral, but it 
was not without strong strategical as well as political and moral authorities that this 
thing was done. It is certain that the place could not have been kept in Charles IIL's 
possession during the remainder of the war ; the English alone of the parties then 
present were competent to hold it, for the Dutch force was quite subordinate to that of 
its allies. At the conclusion of the struggle the Rock was formally surrendered, 
** absolutely, with all manner of right for ever without exemption or impediment," 
to England as one of the belligerents in a war which she certainly did not provoke ; 
had it not been thus awarded some equivalent must have been found which would 
have been acceptable to her. The common talk about our seat in Gibraltar is based 
upon a foolish notion that wc have no right there, whereas our position is as just as 
that of Spain with regard to Ceuta, better than that of France to Strasburgh, of Eng- 
land to C\inida, or of any otlier holder of a prize of war. 





tion of Gibraltar and various specious arguments advanced in 
favour of that act. We have not here to reason on this matter ; 
let it suffice that the phice belongs to us by right of cession, at 
the Peace of Utrecht, 171 i, conhrmcd over and over airain ; 
that, such being the case, it we did give it up, common justice 
demands that we should be indcmniticd — hist, by an equivalent 
such as must have been offered at the end of the War of Succes- 
sion ; secondly, for all we have spent upon it during more than 
a centurv and a half of ownership, an expenditure which has 
given to the Rock all its value as a modern stronghold. The 
foolish su2;2:estion of an exchan2;e bcinir efPected of Gibraltar for 
Ceuta, is one of the most amazing freaks of this day. Ceuta 
belongs to the Spaniards by an inferior right t(^ our own on its 
fellow Rock. If Gibraltar belongs to the Spaniards, Ceuta is, 
by an equal right, the propcrtv of the Moors, our old and \'crv 
faithful allies, whom it is now proposed we should join in 
robbing. Ceuta is not W(^rth a tenth part of (jibraltar, yet 
if it were worth ten times as much, the wrongfulness of keep- 
ing it would be greater than that of holding Gibraltar as we 
do. In short, Gibraltar is the coign of vantage for a great 
maritime power ; such as Spain is not, but such as France 
and the United States are. Jt would be worth a war with 
Spain, on the part of France, to have the key of the Mediter- 
ranean. If the policy of the United States with regaul t(^ 
European aggression were changed and the Union remained 
unbroken, it might be worth the while oi those wlu) are 
ardent in the cause of oppressed races to get up a cry for 
the Spaniards and try to acquire the Rock. 'Fo either enemy 
we should have a reply. A partv at home has more than once 
— as in 1782, when Lord Shelburne's ministry was shot out 
of office by the indignant nation — proposed to cede the [dace. 
Dr. Franklin, when representing our enemies, coollv, but not 



very logically, averred that Portsmouth might as justly be 
ceded to Spain as Gibraltar to England. This party still 
survives and but lately renewed the attempt in the old 
manner, with the old arguments reduced to that weakest and 
least conclusive of all — i.e. the alleged morality of such a 
sacrifice. We have briefly entered upon this subject at this 
place, because it is our purpose to conclude with it at the 
earliest opportunity. Readers who desire further information 
will find it amply afi-orded in the '-' Parliamentary History " of 
the discussions in both Houses of the Legislature upon the 
repeated attempts to have the Rock ceded to Spain ; in Coxe's 
'' History of the Bourbon Kings of Spain j" Lord Mahon's 
'' History of England ;" '' The Memoirs of Sir R. Walpole i" 
"Hie Corresjiondencc of the Earl of Chatham" and, for a 
succinct compilation from these and other authorities, with 
many otherwise unpublished letters, the excellent chapters 
on the subject in Captain Saver's " History of Gibraltar," 

'Fhe Spaniards departed from the Fortress they had valiantly 
won and as valiantly defended ; the majority remained at St. 
Roque, not without hopes of soon returning to their homes ; 
like the Moors whom they had dispossessed, their des- 
cendants are said to preserve until this day the records and 
family documents which form the bases of claims upon property 
on that Rock which, for more than a century and a half, has 
known other masters. On the other hand, great as his 
achievement was and invaluable as was his addition to the 
power of the British commonwealth, Sir George Rooke 
received no reward whatever. From the Whigs he obtained, 
indeed, so much of a reward as is conveyable in vigorous 
detraction. The captor of iMagdala and deliverer of some 
missionaries, at the price of ten millions of money and one 



wounded man, has been magnificently rewarded ; but Rooke 
got not even thanks. He landed what troops and sailors 
could be spared for the defence of his capture and left 
the prince in command when, about a fortnight after the 
victory, he once more put to sea (August 9th). On the loth 
the prospect of further battle offered for, having stood to 
the eastward with his ships, the English admiral encoun- 
tered the van^iuarJ of a irreat French fleet under the com- 
mand of one of the ablest seamen of th.ii luition, the Count 
of Toulouse (Thoulouse) and comprising nearly eighty sail, 
fifty-two of which were ships of considerable size. At first 
the French seemed to decline a battle and on tb.c i2ih of 
August they were, as Captain Sayer says, so tar ofi as to be 
out of sight. On the following day the enemy again appeared 
and offered battle. The fleets were almost cquallv matchcil in 
numbers and, except that a large proportion of the English 
ammunition had been expended upon the Rock., there was at 
least equal chances in their favour ; besides whicli Ronkc had 
the wind, which Toulouse endeavoured to gain and so brought 
on a vigorous combat. Rooke, Sir John Byng, and Admiral 
Dilkes were placed to bear the brunt of the battle with the 
Dutch ships astern of them and Leake, with valiant Sir 
Cloudeslev Shovel as leader, before all, in the old Barfleur, 
that ship which has retained a glorious name in the Eng- 
lish navy. This was then a vcr\ large vessel and power- 
fully handled by Sir Cloudeslev, the former cabin-bo\ , and 
lono- before this battle off Malaiza one of the best and bravest 
of English captains. 'Fhe battle began fiercely and was 
continued firmlv ; the Enirlish suffered o;reatlv at hr-^t, the 
admiral's ship, the Royal Catherine, being one of the first to 
fiiiht and be attacked. 'Fhe French shii)s were most violently 
assailed by Shovel, who went nearly alongside hi^ anta^oni^t. 



and there concentrated his fire with terrible effect. The 
combat continued until late in the evening and ended in a 
drawn battle, so far as its consequences were apparent at the 
time ; but the Count of Toulouse withdrew in the early 
morning with all his ships, having suffered terribly in 
masts, sails and rigging, with more than three thousand 
men killed and wounded among the latter were the count 
himself, one of his commodores and nearly one hundred 
and fifty ofhcers of various grades. Another F>ench com- 
mander, the l^ailif of Lorraine, was killed, with many more. 
The whole French fleet retired from the scene of action, not- 
withstanding that the Englishmen followed as well as they 
could until the i6th of Auirust. When he had lost si^ht 
of his enemy Rooke returned to Gibraltar, partly to look for 
the French, partly to refit his battered ships. Meanwhile 
Toulouse was making for harbour at 'Foulon, which he 
reached in due time and used for refitting the Armada, an 
operation that was not complete until the year had almost 
expired •, whereas Rooke's ships were at sea and ready for 
another fight in less than ten days when, no enemy appearing, 
the greater number of the vessels were sent home and only 
Admiral Leake's squadron remained in the Spanish waters. 
Sucli was the great battle off Malaga, which cost tlie allies 
two thousand seven hundered and ten men in killed and 
wounded, including Sir Andrew Leake, the captain of the 
(jraf'ton (seventy guns).^ 

♦ Some m^tiun of the fierceness of the English saiiuis in combat may be gained from 
the following passage in a letter from Sir Ciuudesley Shovel, as quoted by Captain 
Sayer: — " We having the weather-g.iuge, gave me an opportunity of coming as near 
as I pleased, which was within pistol-shot, before I fired a gun j through which means 
and Guds assistance, the enemy declined us and were on the run in less than four 
hours, by whiwh time we had little wind and their galleys tuwed off their lame ships 

2 H 



These achievements would seem to form claims for rewards 
and distinctions at the hands of those who were trustees for 
the nation in distributing them to the deserving, yet Rookc 
got nothing of this sort from the powers that were ; in fact, 
although ere very long the importance of the capture of the 
Rock was popularly recognised, the government, swayed by 
the passions of party, absolutely ignored the transaction ; the 
House of Lords declined to address the queen and although 
the Lower House was more active in procuring rewards for 
the combatants, Rookc consulted the interests of his party and 
his own dignity by retiring from the public service. He was 
never in favour with the Lords and, for reasons that onlv party 
spirit could vitalise, had been the object of inquiry on the part 
of their house after the failure of the expedition to Cadiz, in 
respect to which, however, his extraordinary triumph in cap- 
turing the Spanish galleons and war shijis at \'igo (a feat which 
may compare with some of the achievements of Sir Francis 
Drake) stood him in stead. (See Smollett's abstracts of 
accounts of these transactions in his continuation of Hume's 
'' History of England.") I'he queen, influenced by the 
Duchess of Marlborough, absolutely resented the placing of 
Rooke's name in juxtaposition with that of the Duke of 
Marlborough, then recentlv victorious at Blenheim. The 
duke got Woodstock- the admiral nothing. Yet it seems pru- 

and others as they pleased," (ThcbC row galleys, then manned by convicts, often 
played important parts in Mediterranean warfare, even so late as the middle of the last 
century.) " I set my sails and rowed," says Shovel, " with three boats a-head, to get 
alongside with the admiral of the White and Red ; but he, outsailing me, shunned 
fighting and lay alongside of the little ships. Notwithstanding the engagement was 
very sharp, I think the like between two fleets never was iccn in any time" He 
meant " my time," as to which in tlie fighting way at sea there was no better judge 
living than st -it and honest-hearted Sir Cloudeslev Shovel.— ^rSmoUet's Continuation 
of Hume's History of England. 



bable that in the long run Gibraltar has bei^n more valuable 
than the glories of half the duke's victories put together. Sir 
Cloudesley Shovel succeeded Rooke in command of the fleet, 
with the title of Vice-Admiral of England. Sir George 
returned to his seat at St. Lawrence, near Canterbury, where, 
January 24, 1709, aged 58, he died and was buried in the 
neighbouring cathedral. 

^<*'*-''i \>r^ 









These achievemeius would seem to form claims for rewards 
and distinctions at the hands of those who were trustees for 
the nation in distributing them to the deserving, yet Rooke 
got nothing of this sort from the powers that were ; in fact, 
although ere very long the importance of the capture of the 
Rock was popularly recognised, the government, swayed by 
the passions of party, absolutely ignored the transaction ; the 
House ot Lords declined to address the queen and although 
the Lower House was more active in procuring rewards for 
the combatants, Rooke consulted the interests of his party and 
his own dignity by retiring from the public service. He was 
never in favour with the Lords and, for reasons that only party 
spirit could vitalise, had been the object of inquiry on the part 
of their house after the failure of the expedition to Cadiz, in 
respect to which, however, his extraordinary triumph in cap- 
turing the Spanish galleons and war ships at Vigo (a feat which 
may compare with some of the achievements of Sir Francis 
Drake) stood him in stead. (St\' Smollett's abstracts of 
accounts of these transactions in his continuation of Hume's 
" History of England.") The queen, influenced by the 
Duchess of Marlborough, absolutely resented the placing of 
Rooke's name in juxtaposition with that of the Duke of 
Marlborough, then recently victorious at Blenheim. I'he 
duke got Woodstock — the admiral nothing. Yet it seems pro- 

and others as they pleased." ( The^e row galleys, tiicn manned by convicts, often 
played important parts in Mediterranean warfare, even so late as the middle of the last 
cencury.) '• I set my sails and rowed," says Shovel, " with three boats a-head, to get 
alongside with the admiral of the White and Red ; but he, outsailing me, shunned 
fighting and lay alongside of the little ships. Notwithstanding the engagement was 
very sharp, I think the like between two fleets never was seen in any time " lie 
meant " my time," as to which in the fighting way at sea there was no better judge 
living than stout and honest-hearted Sir Cloudeslev Shovel.— &^Smollet's Continuation 
of Hume's Hirtory 'if England. 

bable that in the long run Gibraltar has been more valuable 
than the glories of half the duke's victories put together. Sir 
Cloudesley Shovel succeeded Rooke in command of the fleet, 
with the title of V ice-Admiral of England. Sir George 
returned to his seat at St. Lawrence, near Canterbury, where, 
January 24, 1709, aged 58, he died and was buried in the 
neighbouring cathedral. 




HE next event which we have to record in the 
^^ historv of the Rock is the effort which the Spanish 
G) king and his trench allies, before the year 1704 
had expired, directed by land and sea against the 
English. The latter had done much in fortifying the hold, espe- 
cially by a new battery above the monastery, and placed a garrison 
of three thousand men within the walls which, although vic- 
tualled for not more than two months, was a much more potent 
force than the ancient owners had maintained, as the latter now 
found to their cost. So swift was the backward blow ot the 
losers that within three months after the surrender (Oct. 9), 
the place was again attacked and trenches opened against 
It, from which, a few days later, heavy guns did damage at a 
short distance and dismantled the old round tower ( Ayala). 
A French fleet of twenty-two ships aided these operations and 
it was feared bv the garrison would, if the sea and land forces 
were combined, wear them out ; the troops alone were four 
times more numerous than the besieged. The Battery of St. 
Paul was cannonaded on the 28th of October and the civil 
governor killed. More troops, both Spanish and French, 
were landed, but for a considerable time their etlorts were 
ineffectual ; the elevation of the Rock gave to its holders im- 
portant advantages in placing guns and mortars and \ ijwing 
with ease all the operations of their enemies. 





The arrival of succours from England had an important 

effect upon the spirits of the two parties. Sir John Leake 
came into the Bay on the day after the Battery of St. Paul 
was attacked, drove four French ships ashore and stopped 
the advances of the soldiers on that side of the Rock which 
was exposed to his guns ; thus friends were substituted in 
that quarter for foes. The next attempt was by escalade and 
proved fatal to a great number of those who, under the 
guidance of a native goatherd, one Simon Susaste, actually 
ascended the Rock and reached so high as the signal station, 
where English troops were sent to capture them \ they inflicted 
serious loss on the latter, but, after losing nearly one hundred 
and sixty men, became prisoners of war. It seems that among 
the causes of this failure was a dispute between the com- 
manders of the besieging forces and the neglect of the 
Spaniards [Sayer). The firing continued with increased 
force and effect until a large number of the Rock guns were 
disabled and the ammunition of the besieged was running 
low ; the stores of other kinds were scanty, disease was 
prevailing and the men's hearts sinking, when news came 
that active measures for succouring them, including the 
despatch of an entire relief of the garrison, engineers, stores 
and tools, were in hand. Thus heartened, the English, 
although reduced to about half their original forcv*^, kept their 
posts as well as they could and defeated the enemy when, 
as was frequent, they assaulted the works. On the 7th 
December, two months after the beginning of the siege, part 
of the English help arrived ; thus strengthened, a sortie was 
made and much damage done to the enemy ; on the 20th a 
second sally was effected with even more effect. A month later 
the besiegers made a great assault on the King's lines, the weak- 
ness of which had been betraved to them ; this was for a time 



successfully executed, but the garrison sent a party under 
Colonel Moncal which soon reinstated the holders. Hard as 
was the existence of the English, that of their enemy was 
even worse and their sufferings must have been intense 
through the trenches filling with water, the cutting off of 
supplies by inland floods and the progress of disease in their 
camp. Marshal Tesse, a famous commander, was appointed 
to conduct further operations and the hopes of the besiegers 
revived with the reinforcements which, on a great scale, he 
conducted to them. A violent assault was made upon a 
breach which was hardly enlarged enough to warrant success 
and ended in the useless sacrifice of more than two hundred 
lives. Another attack, this time by the combined armies and 
navies, was frustrated, so far as the latter were concerned, by 
the wind shifting to the south, converting that part of the 
Rock which had been appointed for the naval assault into a lee 
shore. A letter which Captain Sayer quotes from the 
Alemoire de Tesse gives a somewhat humorous account of 
the state of the besieging army before Gibraltar, the marshal 
avers that the dilatory proceedings of the Spaniards spoiled 
everything— the cannon did not arrive when it was wanted, 
a vast supply of powder could not be heard of; meanwhile a 
French fleet under Pointe arriving in the Bay, was caught there 
by Leake, who captured three of the ships and destroyed that of 
Pointe. The English admiral sent his reinforcements ashore 
and thus placed the garrison in a position nearly equal to that 
it occupied before the siege begun ; whereas, as Tesse told 
the Prince de Conde, the allies could not continue the attack 
and yet were unable to quit the place except at the sacrifice 
of all their stores and materials of war. Having lost ten 
thousand men, the French commander raised the siege on the 



1 8th April, 1705, I.e. six months after the task was begun 
nmid hopeful declarations. 

All this time the War o^ the Spanish Succession, which had 
dragged us into the European battle-fields, continued to rage 
with varying success, yet, so far as Spain was concerned, with 
a general leaning to the establishing of Philip V. on the 
throne. The archduke's cause was further aided by Charles 
Mordaunt, the Earl oi' Peterborough — Pope's friend — who 
conferred upon him a wider immortality in two verses than 
the earl's own laurels could secure. '' Almost as quickly as 
he conquered Spain," one of the famous lines in question, 
might have been supplemented by a statement of how rapidly 
he lost his ready gains. He made an attack on Barcelona and 
Prince George of Hesse, one of the captors of Gibraltar, was 
slain. This disastrous war continued until 1 711, when the 
death of the Emperor Joseph H. simplified the cause of 
contest and led to a settlement at the Peace of Utrecht. 
This treaty is noteworthy for our present subject on account 
of the formal cession to England by Spain of the Rock and 
Fortress, ^' in all manner of right for ever." For this Spain 
received, according to the conditions of the treaty, a full con- 
sideration ; upon ihis, even more than the right of conquest, 
the British claim has since rested. 









Ii7=^ HIS defeat, with the terrible losses of men and 
^*/'^ money which attended ii, was not sulHcicnt to 
^(s) check the desires of Spain for th.- restitution 
of that portion of her territory which she had 
ceded to England. 

Another siege was undertaken after many attempts had 
failed to obtain by negotiation that which force had not suc- 
ceeded in winning. These attempts involved sonic ot the 
most amazing declarations and tergiversations on the parts of 
the Spaniards and the English Government. The latter must 
be understood as distinct from the people, who made it a point 
of national pride to insist on retaining the place and held to it 
with such force of will that more than one ministry, which 
would, if left alone, willingly have temporised, if not yielded, 
dared not propose in the House of Commons a cession of the 
Rock. The history of these efforts and their failures may be 
read in Lord Mahon's '^ History of England •," Archdeacon 
Coxe's '' Memoirs of the Bourbon Kings of Spain ;" the 
"Memoirs of Sir Robert Walpole ;" the '^Parliamentary 
History ;" and briefly. Captain Saver's '^ History of Gibraltar." 
At one time (Julv, 1725) matters went so far that in a confer- 
ence with Philip V. and his queen, the high-handed Isabella of 
Parma — who, since the return of her husband from the monas- 
tery of St. Ildefonso, had been actual ruler — Mr. Stanhope, 

the English minister, was told by the lady, " Either relinquish 
Gibraltar, or your trade with the Indies ; " and a demand had 
been stated beforehand making the cession the alternative of 
instant war. 

Conduct of this sort was much less likely to be successful 
than such pathetic appeals as have been recently in vogue ; it 
was Impossible that the English nation would surrender the 
place which had been retained at considerable cost of blood 
and treasure. A promise on the part of George I. was alleged 
for its restoration and admitted by him, but with a qualification 
that he would endeavour to obtain the consent of Parliament 
In the matter. The Spaniards seem to have been unable to 
master the fact that since the execution of Charles I. no 
English king has been allowed to do what he pleased with 
the possessions of the nation ; hence their disgust is less 
difficult to understand at what thcv called the withdrawal of 
George J. from his word. 

In December, 1726, the Spanish ambassador made anew 
formal dem.uul for the restitution of the Rock, with the under- 
stood alternative that peace or war between the nations 
depended on the answer. The English preferred war, the 
House of Commons strengthened the king's hands. After further 
squabbling war began and Gibraltar was again assailed, January, 
1727. Stores had been previously gathered, materials brought 
together and a large force assembled near Algeciras in the 
December previous to the attack. These preparations gave 
warning to the garrison of the storm to come. So fierce was 
the Spanish Ciovernment at the outset of the siege that the 
heavy guns and the stores of Cadiz were taken before 
the Rock, peasants were pressed to dig the trenches and the 
business pressed without stay. 

The history of this attack is striking on account of the 

2 I 



evidence it affords of the utter lack of judgment on the part of 
those assailants who attempted a regular siege of the Rock 
without securing command of the sea, or so thoroughly 
exhausting their enemy that he could not supply the garrison. 
The latter feat being out of the question in this instance and 
the former so impracticable as never to have been attempted 
at the Thirteenth Siege, it is evident that experience of former 
failures, as with Algeciras while it remained open to the sea, 
was thrown away upon that Spanish queen who sent what 
was for that time a vast force of artillery and a great army 
against Gibraltar. Insufficiently prepared as was the Fortress, 
her Majesty might as well, if a coup de main failed, have pounded 
the Rock. This was the feeling of the beleaguers, who took 
the extraordinary step of protesting to their government their 
despair of succeeding in the task upon which they were em- 
ployed. Practically the attack became a great land duel with 
artillery, no powerful assaults of other kinds having been made 
by either party. 

Admiral Hopson was stationed for a while in the Bay, but 
was compelled, says Drinkwater, to overlook the preparations 
of the Spaniards in transporting provisions, artillery and 
ammunition from Algeciras to the camp at St. Roquc. This 
compulsory neglect also affected Brigadier Kane, who was des- 
patched from Minorca with troops. Neither o^ these officers 
could interfere because thev were iiinorant of hostilities having 
be<i^un between the countries. Nevertheless, whiit reinforce- 
ments for the garrison could be spared were sent from Minorca, 
likewise fresh troops and considerable supplies from 1'^.ngland, 
ere the attack could be said to have been begun, and the i^ar- 
rison was never really distressed for lack of reliefs of men or 
stores. Sir Charles Wager, whom we met at the capture of 
Gibraltar in command of the Sea Horse, was now an admiral 



and led six ships with reliefs to the Rock. The trenches were 
opened on P^ebruary 10, on the western beach near the old 
windmill, on the Neutral Ground, that is, at a spot which the 
bounds set by the treaty prohibited to Spain. General Clayton, 
the lieutenant-governor, says Drinkwater, remonstrated with 
the Spanish commander, Las Torres, and was answered in a 
manner which expressed the intentions of the besiegers. 
This was before war had been declared and the Spanish 
proceedings were, to say the least, irregular. These ex- 
cavations produced the hostilities they challenged, in the 
evening of the nth February, the English commander fired at 
the workmen from the Old Mole and Willis's Batteries, two 
of the lower defences of the Rock. The first offensive opera- 
tions by the Spaniards were undertaken, but with slight effect, 
from Punta Mala, against the ships of the English which lay 
in the Bay. The trenches had been begun in the night before, 
were directed towards the Inundation and wrought by a large 
force and with great energy during the night. In the morning 
the garrison observing this effort endeavoured, but with no 
result, to check further advance in this way. Here, first of 
all, was presented a proof of the importance of the command 
of the sea to either party. The admiral sent two vessels into 
Blackstrap Ba\', which cannonaded the troops as they gathered 
oil the lollowinir ni^ht in the new works at the foot of the 
Rock and drove them with great loss from their hiding-places. 
The creation of a battery by the Spaniards between the Devil's 
Tower and Santa Barbara, where ruins still exist, stopped this 
means of defence and compelled the ships to retreat. Thus pro- 
tected from this side, the trenches were continued and the Old 
Mole Head, Laiidport — on the west of the Inundation — and 
the works on that side were assailed with a vigorous cannonade. 
Approaching nearer at every turn of their trenches, the assail- 






ants gathered force and built battery after battery, armed with 
mortars as well as guns, which more or less commanded the 
whole of the lower fortifications at the north-west angle of the 
place. So close did they approach that pieces of rock were 
cast down from above upon the works and great injury in- 
flicted upon the labourers. On the part of the defence all the 
available workmen and civilians of the town were employed 
under military direction in repairing damages, carrying shot 
and powder. Further reinforcements came in with stores, 
which strengthened the English greatly. Their position was 
also much improved by the disastrous effects of a violent 
storm, which not only swamped the besiegers' works, but 
powerfully affected their comnuinications.* 

All this time the English ships were active in intercepting 
the stores of the enemy and carrying thcni to the use of the 
garrison. Notwithstanding these impediments, the trenches 
were pushed forward so vigorously that in the second week in 
March (the loth says James, the 3rd of March says Drink- 
water) the works were carried to one hundred paces of the 
place and the Old Mole much injured by the t\vc which fol- 
lowed this stage of the operations. Among the other otlensive 
attempts mentioned by the '' Officer " and James was that of 
drivino; a i^allerv under C)ueen Anne's and Willis's Batteries 
(on the ''• Lines " which still hear that officer's nanuO : this 
was begun with the very ill-considered object of blowing up 
these works. As Captain Saver commented, this was a 
waste of forces upon the intractable limestone of the Rock. 
This author tells us that, on the 12th of March, the enemv 
had reached so near Landport Gate as to be within niusket- 

* Journal of an Officer ; James's Hhtory of the Herculean Straits^ the best portion of 
which work refers to tliis siege j Sayer's H'ntory r)f Gibraltar. 

shot of that defence. The Spaniards progressed thus far at 
great cost to themselves and with little loss to their antago- 
nists ; they were suffering dreadfully through dysentery and 
fatigue — desertions were very numerous. The arrival on 
the 27th March of further reinforcements to the besieged, 
comprising Colonel Middleton's regiment, six companies and a 
half of that of Colonel Hays, besides engineers, artillerymen, 
ammunition and provisions, made the attack even less hopeful 
than before ; to these discouragements must be added a second 
storm, which did at least equal injury to their works to that of 
the first hurricane. The frequent arrival of troops and stores 
showed the earnestness of the British Government in defending 
the Eortress and acted with reversed effect upon the minds of 
those who saw their enemy's craft approach and discharge 
cargoes at the New Mole, or where it now stands. On 
the 2nd of April, the adniirals prepared to bombard the enemy 
in Algeciras, but a calm j^re vented the attempt. On the 1 0th 
April, the Solebay came in with five hundred men from 
Minorca; on the 12th of the same month the admiral finally 
departed, leaving a squadron under Commodore Davles. Thus 
strengthened and encouraged. General Clayton, on the i6th, 
made a feint of a sortie to drive the Spaniards from their 
trenches at night and expose them to the fire of his guns as 
they got into the open plain ('"'■ Officer," Drinkwater). This 
scheme failed through a mistake of orders. More troops came 
from England, under Lord Portmore, the governor, on the 
2 1st, and raised the garrison to nearly five thousand five 
hundred men, besides civilian working parties ; stores of 
powder soon al'terwards came from Lisbon and shells from 
Port Alahon. '^ Daunted but not subdued," the attacking 
torces opened a riew batterv against Willis's and the Prince's 
Lines j gathered strength of guns md mortars in all their 



batteries for a tremendous cannonade, which was effected, 
says the " Officer,'' " so that we seemed to live in flames.'' 
This bombardment continued for nearly a fortnight (until 
May 1 2th), with few intervals in its fury and did such prodi- 
gious damage to the English works that it was hardly possible 
to maintain them ; the greater number of the guns were 
silenced, yet comparatively little loss of men was inflicted. 
New guns were mounted as occasion permitted, the ruins 
cleared away and breaches temporarily repaired ; so that, for 
the nonce, the Rock was as strong as ever, while the besiegers 
had exhausted themselves, wasted a vast amount of ammu- 
nition, damaged their artillery beyond serviceableness and 
were correspondingly depressed. It was now the turn of the 
English to inflict damage; a powerful fire was maintained, 
great mischief done to the Spanish works and the efix)rts 
of their builders so completely frustrated, that, as James 
relates, and the ^'OtHcer" confirms, the final retaliatory 
measures of the British commander seem to have been almost 
superfluous, except so far probably as might have aff^ected the 
Spaniards with gladness, when news arrived of the progress of 
negotiations for peace between the belli<rerents. The news 
was communicated to the garrison by Colonel Fitzgerald, an 
Irish mercenary in the Spanish service. These arran^rcments 
were completed on the 23rd June, five months after the opening 
of this the Thirteenth Siege of Gibraltar. Thus, after the 
settlement of details, ended this memorable attack ; the 
English being much better orf at the end than the Spaniards 
were at the beginning of their disastrous venture. The latter 
lost, it is said, three thousand men from all causes. As it was, 
however, their government retired sullenly from the attempt 
and on more than one occasion it seemed likely that hiihting 
would begin again. {See Archdeacon Coxe's ^^ History of the 



Bourbon Kings of Spain ;" " Memoirs of Sir R. Walpole ;" 
"Journal of an Officer during the Siege," British Museum; 
James's "History of the Herculean Straits ;" Sayer's "History 
of Gibraltar ;'* and Drinkwater's "History of the late Siege of 
Gibraltar," 1790.) 



NE would think that the temper of the British 
people had been sufficiently pronounced during 
the last detailed siege to have put an end to 
Further schemes on the part of those at home who, 
for an equivalent, as they said, would have surrendered the 
Rock, as well as to the hopes of the Spaniards which had for 
their object the regaining of this key of the Mediterranean. 
Such was not the case, however. All sorts of crooked nego- 
tiations were entertained, the truth of which has never, so far 
as we can see, been arrived at. There is a good account of 
these in Captain Sayer's ^' History." In 1729 a '' feeler'* was 
made in the Houses of Lords and Commons ; the history of 
this business may be read in the journals of Parliament and 
the newspapers of that day ; the negotiations which were con- 
cluded by the English envoy at the end of the year 1729 
contained no reference to the Rock ; things, therefore, in 
respect to it remained as before. Soon afterwards (1732) the 
Spaniards drew lines of fortifications across the neck of the 
Peninsula, so as, if possible, to isolate the Fortros, and con- 
structed the Forts San Felipe and Santa Barbara, of twenty-four 
guns each. At their extremities, which are nearly a mile 
asunder and a mile from the Rock, these now remain in ruins 
and appear on our map. l^hey were eftuctive in Dnnkwnter's 
time. The former commanded the best anchorage in the Bay. 
In 1754, war having broken out between France and England, 



Minorca, then the next English neighbour to Gibraltar, was 
besieged by the former. The object of this attt^ck is reported 
to have been that of securing a bait powerful enough to obtain 
the alliance of Spain for the French. Admiral Byng was sent 
at the last hour to the relief of the island ; he failed ; his 
disastrous fate is well known. Minorca was taken by the 
French. The English Cabinet, whose supineness had per- 
mitted this mishap, or disgrace, was expeditiously turned out 
of office, and Pitt brought into power. Meanwhile France, to 
secure the desired Spanish alliance, offered to cede her new 
capture and aid in another attack on the Rock (Coxe, 
'' History of the Bourbon Kings of Spain"). On the other 
hand, Pitt, dreading the success of this scheme, offered (Aug. 
23, 1757) to cede the Rock to Spain as the price of an alliance 
with England, in exchange for the lost island of Minorca, 
which the Spaniards were to aid in recovering from the French. 
This curious and promising scheme was proposed too late ; the 
French offer was not accepted by Spain, which, however, 
remained neutral in the contest. Great dissatisfaction existed 
both at home and on the Rock with regard to the maintenance, 
management and cost of the garrison. The governor was 
accused of all sorts of misconduct, plundering and tyranny. A 
spirited defence was made by Lord Tyrawley before the House 
of Lords as to his own conduct ; he was one of the warmest 
advocates for surrendering the place. The emoluments of the 
governor's office amounted to twentv thousand pounds per 
annum, exclusive of his salary, and were shared by knaves at 
home. During the governorship of Lord Home (1760), a 
plan was arranged by a mutinous party of the garrison for the 
seizing of the Fort, plundering it and its surrender to the 
Spaniards. This traitorous design was discovered and Reed, 
the ringleader, shot on the Alameda. 

2 K 




The successive governors of Gibraltar after Lord Portmore 
were (1730) Lieutenant-Gcneral Sabine, Lieutenant-General 
Columbine, Lieutenant-General Hargrave, General Bland 
(1749), Lord Tyrawley, Earl Home — who died at Gibraltar in 
I 761, Lieutenant-General Cornwallis — who was succeeded by 
General the Right Honourable George Augustus Elliot, after- 
wards Lord Heathfield, who won his peerage on the Rock, as 
we have soon to tell. 

The revolt of the North American colonies soon involved 
England in new wars with her old enemies P>ance and Spain, 
and produced another enemy. not less bitter and formidable 
than they have so often proved. The French openly joined 
the revolted colonies in 1778 (February 6th) ; the Spaniards 
joined the French in the following year. Both European 
nations combined their strength against Gibraltar with armies 
and fleets of the most powerful kind.. It is noteworthy here 
that Ayala's '' History of Gibraltar," which was written and 
published about this time and evidently in anticipation of the 
event, makes no secret of the height of the author's hopes as 
to the result of the then impending siege. This '' History" 
is a capital work, especially useful for the local details of the 
population, fortifications, dimensions, kc. which it comprises, 
and invaluable to the student in our subject. Bell's translation 
(1845) is unfortunate in being void of many of the historical 
documents of the original i it contains, however, a curious plan 
of Gibraltar from a MS. in the British Museum. In this 
national collection are many MSS. and a large numhcr of 
printed books, tracts and essays, concerning the Rock and 



^j^^S'^f^O attempt a detailed account of the tremendous 
yr\^ conflict which next comes to our hands would 
|(s) not only be impracticable within the limits of this 
work, but it is superfluous to do so at length. 
Drinkwater's account of this event, "the Siege of Sebastopol " 
of the last century, at which he was present, supplies abun- 
dance of particulars which readers can study with pleasure in 
the straightforward and simple style of the English officer. 
This excellent volume, the text-book of the subject, has been 
supplemented by more than one other. In Captain Sayer's 
*-'' History," all the important matters relating to the grand 
action have been drawn together with considerable skill and 
research, which produced much that was unknown to the 
worthy " Captain of the late 72nd Re£^'ment, or Royal Man- 
chester Volunteers." It is noteworthy that Colonel James — 
a laborious, but terribly confused and uncritical writer — Captain 
Drinkwater and Captain Sayer, all held appointments on the 
Rock (the last as civil magistrate) ; their opportunities were 
therefore excellent. In the following abstract we shall chiefly 
depend upon ]3rinkwater's work as not only the most com- 
plete ot contemporary histories, but because his style is simple 
and clear in a marked degree. This author gives a very good 
sketch of the fortifications and appearance of the Rock in his 
time, which, uf course, is much more valuable than that of the 
Spaniard Ayala, although the historical researches and national 




character of the latter render his production more precious to 
the student of the history of Gibraltar at large. Taken together, 
we have in these descriptions abundance of material for those 
who wish to reconstruct the place of three generations since, 
when old systems of fortifying and old artillery still obtained. 
Our space does not admit more than a reference to these 
sources. Nor are the charts, plans and views of Drinlcwater 
without extreme interest. 

Drinlcwater points out the artful plan of the Spanish Court 
in endeavouring to cut off supplies to the Rock by procuring 
a right to farm the African ports which generally supplied 
our garrison with food. A strict alliance of damaging effect 
to England was afterwards concluded between Spain and 
Morocco. Thanks to the perseverance of the governor, the 
great Elliot, the place was less badly off than it might have 
been in common hands ; but it was very insufficiently garri- 
soned, armed and supplied to resist the terrible efforts which 
were now bendinir airainst it with unsuspected force. The 
French fleet, twenty-eight sail of the line, was at sea and 
waiting ofF Cape Finistcrrc for that of the Spaniards, ere a 
chance revealed to the captain of a Swedish brig the near 
approach of the conflict, of which he conveyed news to the 
governor and thus confirmed suspicions which had been roused 
by accounts of gatherings at Cadiz and elsewhere and trans- 
mitted by British agents. On the 21st of June, 1779, com- 
munication with Spain was forbidden to the garrison. Upon 
this, preparations were made to meet the coniing assault. 
These were small enough, tor the best accounts agree that, 
notwithstanding the fine speeches of the Karl of Chatham in 
Parliament two years before, to the effect that he regarded 
Gibraltar with very different eyes than those of the William 
Pitt who had offered to forego the place, next to nothing had 





been done to second the entreaties, objurgations, and remon- 
strances of Elliot. War was practically declared by Spain 
against England, June 16, 1779, this was at home; before 
Gibraltar, cannon were brought from St. Roque — and other 
threatening arrangements made. Five companies of artillery 
only were in the garrison, which Elliot declared should consist, 
all told, of not fewer than eight thousand"^ men ! To supply 
the deficiency as well as possible, one hundred and eighty 
men were trained in the management of what were then 
great guns. On July 5 a Spanish squadron, of considerable 
force appeared from the westward and lay-to off the Rock. 
Three privateer cutters came in from the westward and were 
followed and watched by a schooner under Portuguese colours. 
At this vessel the first guns were fired in this grand siege and 
from Europa batteries. On the 6th July news of the decla- 
ration of war reached Gibraltar; on the nth the first hostile 
shot was fired, at a boat, by the Spaniards in Fort St. Barbara ; 
on the 1 6th the enemy blocked up the port of Gibraltar by 
placing a strong squadron off Algeciras. The minute accounts 
which Drinkwater irave of the arrivals of row-boats now and 
then, the little bits of gossip and hearsay with which his 
memoirs are enriched, are characteristic and expressive of the 
suspense of the garrison throughout the siege. Now came a 
Moorish row-galley, then a Portuguese boat and a schooner, 
next a settee was captured ; the one with fowls, another 
with cattle, a third with charcoal, the next with fruit. A 
Venetian, two Dutchmen, a friendly Swede and smaller craft 
came in as well as they could. Drinkwater noted them, one 
by one, not without anxious welcomes. A Spaniard, in an 

* Five thousand three hundred and eighty-two, all told, was the strength of the 
garrison at the opening of the siege. Of these, more than one thousand were Hano- 
verians. At first the enemy mustered about fourteen thousand men, besides crews. 



open boat laden with onions, came to Waterport and was 
looked at with eyes askant and threatening. One almost hears 
the dash of the long dead waves about his little craft. 

On the 22nd soldiers were observed from the Rock, tracing 
lines for a camp ; then the garrison knew, v/ithout doubt, that 
they would be the prime objects of attack in the war. Nothing 
was decisive of their doubts before this ominous appearance. 
On the 26th a camp was formed at St. Roque. The original 
design was to starve the garrison. This scheme was promising 
of success if it could be maintained in operation. Elliot dis- 
cerned it and took his best means to baffle its effect. There 
were but forty head of cattle in the place : active preparations 
were seen by day and night in the camp. The garrison 
cleared itself from such encumbrances as could be shaken ofF; 
those who remained did so at their own risk. On the 20th 
a new camp was formed under the Oucen of Spain's Chair. 
Fort St. Philip had been armed on the 17th. Hi^^h ai the air 
the sentry of the British guard saw arrive, dav after day and 
night after night, fresh stores, fresh men, timber, fascines, guns ; 
'' two waggons, drawn each by twelve mules," appeared in 
broad daylight on the 8th, reached the lines and were not 
inaptly guessed to bring ^' hxed ammunition," i.r. mortars ; 
events ot ugly signihcance grew more and more frequent 
and the governor thought it was time to interfere. One 
sometimes wonders what he would have dcuie with a 
modern, say Armstrong, gun or two at command. As it was 
he called a council of war on the iith September and the 
result was a determination to open hre hom the batteries on the 
north end of the Rock, namelv Willis's, Oucen Charlotte's 
and a recently formed one called Circen's Lodge (one thousand 
feet above the sea), l^his was done and produced its intended 
result, a stampede ot the cnemv, horse, foot and Miquelets 



(customs' officers). " A lady fired the first shot," says 
Ancell. It will be remembered that the galleries which now 
supply the more important defence were not then formed. A 
24-pounder, then a great gun, was (Oct. 12) hauled up the 
face of part of the Rock, to its very summit on this side (one 
thousand three hundred and thirty-seven feet high) and called 
^' The Rock Gun," as now. It was twice dismounted. 

Drinkwater notes the expedient of Captain Mercier, of 
the 39th Regiment, as that which has since almost revo- 
lutionised the practice of artillery ; it was, to fire out of guns 
five and a half inch shells, with short fuses. This plan was 
tried on the 25th and answered well. The shells were 
despatched with much precision and the fuses so exactly 
calculated that the missiles often burst over the enemies' 
heads arid wounded them before they got to cover. Less 
powder than before was thus used and the foe more seriously 
injured ; the former was a most important matter, it ac- 
counted for the extraordinary number of shells expended 
durinii; the sieire, which was no fewer than one hundred and 
tweiitv-nine thousand one hundred and fifty-one.^ In October 
the besiegers were computed at fourteen thousand men. Lieu- 
tenant-Cicneral Don Martin A. de Soto Mavor was in com- 
mand (;t these. Moderate firing continued against the enemy 
during the period now in question and ettectuallv disturbed 
their workmen. \\\ reply, new batteries, bearing on ''Willis's" 
and our lines, v/crc opened between the Spanish lines and 
hort St. Philip. On our side new works were contrived 

* Besides these missiles, fifty-seven thousand one hundred and sixty-one solid shot 
were fired, twelve thousand six hundred and eighty-one discharges of grape shot, nine 
hundred and twenty-six carcases, and six hundred and seventy-nine light balls. ToCal^ 
two hundred thousand six hundred rounds, and fuur thmisand seven hundred and 
twenty-ei^ht shot from gun-boats. Eight thousand barrels of powder were osed. 




open boat laden with onions, came to Waterport and was 
looked at with eyes askant and threatening. One almost hears 
the dash of the long dead waves about his little craft. 

On the 22nd soldiers were observed from the Rock, tracing 
lines for a camp ; then the garrison knew, without doubt, that 
they would be the prime objects of attack in the war. Nothing 
was decisive of their doubts before this ominous appearance. 
On the 26th a camp was formed at St. Roque. l^he original 
design was to starve the garrison. This scheme was promising 
of success if it could be maintained in operation. Elliot dis- 
cerned it and took his best means to baffle its effect. There 
were hut forty head of cattle in the place : active preparations 
were seen by day and night in the camp. The garrison 
cleared itself from such encumbrances as could be shaken off; 
those who remained did so at their own risk. On the 20th 
a new camp was formed under the Queen of Spain's Chair. 
Fort St. Phihp had been armed on the 17th. High in the air 
the sentry of the British guard saw arrive, day after day and 
night after night, fresh stores, fresh men, timber, fascines, guns ; 
'' two waggons, drawn each bv twelve mules," appeared in 
broad daylight on the 8th, reached the lines and were not 
inaptly guessed to bring "fixed ammunition," i.e. mortars; 
events of ugly significance grew more and more frequent 
and the governor thought it was time to interfere. One 
sometimes wonders what he would have done with a 
modern, say Armstrong, gun or two at command. As it was 
^he called a council of war on the nth September and the 
result was a determination to open fire from the batteries on the 
north end of the Rock, namely Willis's, Queen Charlotte's 
and a recently formed one called Green's L^dgt (one thousand 
feet above the sea). This was done and produced its intended 
result, a stampede of the enemy, horse^ foot and Miquelets 




(customs' officers). « A lady fired the first shot," says 
Ancell. It will be remembered that the galleries which nov/ 
supply the more important defence were not then formed. A 
24-pounder, then a great gun, was (Oct. 12) hauled up the 
face of part of the Rock, to its very summit on this side (one 
thousand three hundred and thirty-seven feet high) and called 
'' The Rock Gun," as now. It was twice dismounted. 

Drinkwater notes the expedient of Captain Mercier, of 
the 39th Regiment, as that which has since almost revo- 
lutionised the practice of artillery ; it was, to fire out of guns 
five and a half inch shells, with short fuses. This plan was 
tried on the 25th and answered well. The shells were 
despatched with much precision and the fuses so exactly 
calculated that the missiles often burst over the enemies' 
heads and wounded them before they got to cover. Less 
powder than before was thus used and the foe more seriously 
injured ; the former w^as a most important matter, it ac- 
counted for the extraordinary number of shells expended 
during the siege, which was no fewer than one hundred and 
twenty-nine thousand one hundred and fifty-one.-^ In October 
the besiegers were computed at fourteen thousand men. Lieu- 
tenant-General Don Martin A. de Soto Mayor was in com- 
mand of these. Moderate firing continued against the enemy 
during the period now in question and eftectually disturbed 
their workmen. In reply, new batteries, bearing on "Willis's" 
and our lines, were opened between the Spanish lines and 
Fort St. Philip. On our side new works were contrived 

* Besides these missiles, fifty-seven thousand one hundred and sixty-one solid shot 
were fired, twelve thousand six hundred and eighty-one discharges of grape shot, nine 
hundred and twenty-six carcases, and six hundred and seventy-nine light balls. Total, 
two hundred thousand six hundred rounds, and four thousand seven hundred and 
twenty-eight shot from gun-boats. Eight thousand barrels of powder were used. 






and executed. Rice was now sold for ^^3 I2S. 6d. the cwt. 
and marked the scarcity of provisions. Small-pox appeared 
amons: the Tews and added to the difficulties of the defence ; 
nevertheless, the Royal Battery, below the Rock Gun, was 
armed with four 24-pounders on the 31st October. Provi- 
sions got dearer as November passed ; mutton was 3s. 6d. a 
pound already ; a goose was worth a guinea. The gover- 
nor, by way of experiment, lived on four ounces of rice per 
diem for eight days. The daring running of privateers to the 
Rock enlivened the garrison, brought news and small stores. 
These acts Drink water notes with charming freshness and 
spirit. One act of this sort, performed by the '' Buck," 
Captain Fagg, occupied unsuccessfully the Spanish admiral and 
twenty-one of his craft. In this ca^e the bold ship came for 
provisions ('). She got what could be given, went out on the 
20th December and was sunk by a French frigate. A btorni 
broucrht larcre quantities of wood, cork, 5cc., down the Pala- 
moncs to the Rock. '^ This supply was considered a miracu- 
lous interference of Providence in our favour " and was sorely 
needed for fuel. Deserters informed Elliot that forty mortars 
were mounted and all the batteries completed in the Spanish 
lines, January 6, 1780. A polacre, with six thousand bushels 
of barley, was driven into the port and captured — a visible 
blessing to the besieged. A woman died through want ; 
meanwhile, though seven months had passed, no rchet 
from home arrived. French fleets passed out of the 
Straits. The first person injured by the enemy's fire was a 
woman, January 13th. The first ship that came in with aiJ 
was an ordnance brig, which, at first, with others, was seen 
to be sailino; throufih the Straits eastwards ; but, suddenly 
altering her course, ran in under the enemy's guns to the huge 
joy of the English—joy that was increased by her news 


that a large convoy had start&d with her a month before for 
the Rock. Ere these arrived, a deserter stated that prepara- 
tions for bombarding were complete against Gibraltar. Next 
came an English brig with intelligence that Admiral Rodney 
had captured off the Portuguese coast a Spanish 64-gun 
ship, five ships of 30 and 28 guns and seventeen merchant- 
men ; also that twenty-one English sail of the line and the 
expected convoy were coming. One of the prizes dropped 
in next, January 18, with news of a fight ofi^ Cape St. 
Vincent between Rodney and Langara, in which one of the 
Spanish line-of-battle ships blew up and six others and 
Langara himself were captured. The Straits were now 
clear of foes and on the 21st January the whole convoy and 
stores came in ; on the 25th the prizes. This was a most 
opportune relief; but for it the Rock must have been sur- 
rendered. A great victory and ample relief were enouo;h to 
make the defenders frantic with joy — joyful indeed they were.* 
1 iieir joy was only damped by the result of a blunder on the 
part of the English officers, who despatched already-laden 
ships to convey the great stores that had been gathered at 
Tangiers for the garrison. The wind changed, the ships 
could not be fitted to take the provisions and the latter were 
practically lost to us. Dread of a bombardment grew upon 
Elliot's mind and deserters confirmed the fears ; obdurate 
and valiant, he, however, prepared for the worst by sending 
away all families that were unprovided with a year's provi- 
sions ; about one thousand men, all told, of the 2nd Battalion, 
73rd Highlanders were diverted from Minorca to reinforce the 
garrison of the Rock. Rodney sailed with his fleet on the 

* Prince William Henry, afterwards William IV. of Great Britain and Ireland, 
was then a midshipman on board the Prince George. 

2 L 





13th February, 1780. The Spanish admiral in command 
at this siege, who had, while Rodney remained at the Rock, 
protected his vessels at Algeciras by means of a strong boom, 
now ventured out again and re-established the blockade, thus 
again shutting up Gibraltar. Nevertheless, small craft con- 
trived to bring stores and news of Rodney sailing stoutly ofF 
Cape St. Vincent. Soon after the blockade became effectual 
and scurvy, the foe to garrisons, was so rife as to destroy in 
all ten times more than the enemy's shot. March, April and 
May passed on without events of note. An attempt to 
destroy our squadron with fire-ships failed in June and the 
hulls of the fruitless craft became firewood for the garrison. 

About the end of the year 1779, the British Government, 
anxious to relieve the country of its embarrassing position in 
war, sounded the Spanish authorities with a view to the 
probable eti^'ect of a cession of Gibraltar upon the Franco- 
Spanish alliance. An exchange for Porto Rico and another 
station in the Mediterranean was suggested or discussed. 
The negotiations to this effect failed utterly, disgraceful 
as they were, and are fully described in Coxe's ^' History 
of the Bourbon Kings of Spain " and Cumberland's nar- 
rative of the proceedings, which are carcfullv mystified, 
but, as Captain Sayer truly remarks, their general nature is 
not questionable. 

Further annoyances were inflicted on the defenders of the 
Rock by means of light gunboats, which approached and fired 
at night with great effect and serious injury to thg place. 
They were irrepressible and had to be endured only. In 
July preparations were made against a more serious naval 
attack, the governor having news of the arrival of Spanish 
ships of war at Cadiz. August passed as the preceding 
months had fled without great incidents. In September the 


besiegers had pushed their approaches within eight hundred 
yards of our lines and the blockade was stricter than ever ; 
a graver attack was apprehended. In October a new 
piece of good fortune befel the garrison — a cargo of lemons 
was obtained by means which, to say the least, were irregular. 
A^ Dutch convoy was discerned passing the Straits and, as 
necessity has no law, the boats of the English singled out one 
of the craft, a Dane, and carried her in to discover, to their 
great joy, that she was loaded with the invaluable anti-scorbutic 
in question ; the governor, having thus taken possession, 
bought the fruit, the effect of the juice of which on the failing 
sick men was next to miraculous. The stock lasted effi- 
caciously until the end of the siege and was a true blessing. 
{See the memorandum of Mr. Cairncross, a surgeon serving 
at Gibraltar, to Drinkwater's " History of the late Siege," 
p. 114.) Our ships now retreated within the New Mole 
and were protected by a strong boom. In August (1780) the 
Emperor of Morocco, our ancient ally, declared in form that 
he would no longer prevent hostilities from either party at war 
upon the other, even in his own parts. This was a severe 
blow to the besieged, whose craft had been comparatively safe 
in the Moroccan harbours and often brought stores from those 
places. Minorca remained the sole source of supply to our gar- 
rison after this event, which had been brought about by Spanish 
influence which soon after was effectual in inducingr the 
emperor to declare war against the English and rent the ports 
of Tangiers and Tituan to their antagonists. Intelligence and 
stores were thus alike cut off from that quarter and the latter 
becaMe so costly that potatoes sold for ^7 los. 6d. per civt. 
on the Rock. Gunboats attacked the town and shipping off" 
the Old Alole Head and did some damage in November, 1780. 
The Spanish approaches, notwithstanding our fire, were brought 



nearer, towards the Mill Battery. The gardens of the Neutral 
Ground were taken possession of and supplies of vef^etables 
thus still further decreased. In the winter months, however, 
the Rock itself furnished almost sufficient of these articles. 
The second branch of the Spanish approaches was completed 
on the 29th November and the return for the third branch 
towards the western beach begun. It was finished on the 2nd 
December and the next return towards the east commenced 
on the 14th December. A junction was made with the 
extremity of the eastern place cCannes, the fifth branch was 
next extended to the east flank of the Mill Battery and a 
mortar battery erected to command the sea on the north of 
Fort St. Philip. Thus the enemy crept on, closer and yet 
closer, to the Fortress ; but their main hopes of success against 
it were based upon starving the garrison. In this undoubtedly 
they might have succeeded if their blockade had been perfect. 
Notwithstanding the rigour of the watchers, small craft fre- 
quently got in with many invaluable articles. 

With all these modicums of help, the state of the besieged 
became gloomier as the spring of 1 78 1 progressed. Relief was 
again at hand and on the 3rd of April in that year the Reso- 
lution, cutter, twenty-nine days from Plymouth, ran in, loaded 
with coal, rum and sugar and, better than these, brought the 
news of a fleet lying in Torbay with a relief for the Rock and 
under the command of Admiral Darby. It was time, for a 
farthing candle cost sixpence on the Rock. This news was ■ 
confirmed by the motions of the Spaniards in drawing their 
forces together, so as to resist an external attack. Soon after 
arrived the Eagle, privateer, fourteen guns, with further news 
of Admiral Darby. Next came the Kite, cutter, Captain 
Frollop, who had seen the convoy at the entrance of the Straits. 
At daybreak on the 12th of April the much-expected fleet 



was in sight from our signal-house, but not discernible from 
below, because a thick fog lay on the water. As the sun 
arose and broke the veil of mist, "the garrison discovered one 
of the most beautiful scenes it is possible to conceive.*' So 
wrote the reasonably exultant Drinkwater, who, by this time, 
must have been more than half-starved. "The convoy, 
consisting of near a hundred vessels, were in a compact body, 
led by several men of war, their sails just enough filled for 
steerage, whilst the majority of line-of-battle ships lay-to under 
the Barbary shore, having orders not to enter the Bay lest the 
enemy should molest them with fire-ships." It was nearly a 
year since Rodney had presented a similarly hopeful sight to the 
people of the Rock. Their gladness rose to its extreme height 
and was manifested in every possible way. "They little 
dreamed of the tremendous blow which impended to annihilate 
their property and reduce many to beggary." Exasperated at 
the arrival of the second relief, the Spaniards, defeated in their 
hopes of famishing the English defenders, had recourse to this 
alternative, a dreadful and cruel one — so cruel that, even in the 
recent civil war in the United States, all but fanatics denounced 
the atrocity of bombarding cities in order to annoy forts 
which could not be reduced by any such savage measures. 
One hundred and seventy cannon and eighty mortars, widely 
distributed before Gibraltar, began to bombard the place about 
^:\<:\Q\\ o'clock on the 12th April and continued at the work 
for six weeks following, expending fifty-six thousand shot and 
twenty thousand shells. To what end was all this effectual, 
does the reader think ? Seventy men of the garrison were 
killed ! 'Fhe fury of the fire was such that the besiegers' 
batteries were nearly as much injured by it as those of the 
Rock. " Within the fortress the city was almost entirely des- 
troyed ; scarce a house inhabitable, and such as were left 



Standing were pierced by shot and shell. But, beyond this 
dilapidation, the effects of the fire were not remarkable, the 
batteries were still in serviceable condition, and the loss of life 
was singularly insignificant" {Sayer). The most painful 
result of this mode of attack was the temporary outbreak of 
many of the garrison, who, maddened by excitement and resent- 
ment, added to the joy induced by the arrival of the convoy, 
took to plundering the town an<! drinkin- the spirits which' 
the horrified people could not remove from their houses. 
These excesses began on the evening of the third day and 
contmued until Elliot shot the marauders who were taken in 
the act. Drinkwater not unreasonably apologises ' for the 
maddened troops and tells some odd tales of the conduct of 
individuals among them at this period. 

Generally speaking, the Fortress answered not at all to this 
furious bombardment. The Rock Gun itself was struck and the 
flagstaff on the Grand Battery so far shot away that the remains 
of the flag had to be nailed to the mast. On the 19th, not- 
withstanding this infernal fire, the stores were landed, but many 
private ventures were carried away again for lack of customers 
who would venture to receive the goods. The fleet departed 
on Its further errand in the West Indies and left the Rock to 
be pelted as the enemy vainly pleased to pelt it. The next 
turn of the wheel of war was on the side of the pelted 
Nothing could have been more surprising to the assailants of 
Gibraltar. Meanwhile, a third and smaller, but very service- 
able convoy came in « from aloft " as it is called, ..... from 
Minorca, where Governor Elliot had secretly arranged the 
despatch ot twenty victuallers under convoy, the effort of the 
land batteries was seconded most mischievously by the regular 
approach of gunboats which fired into the place in an aflJictin-^ 
but, for the grand end they had in view, ineffectual manner. ^ 


A tremendous explosion took effect in the enemy's camp 
near where the Catalonian troops, which were always quartered 
separately from those of other provinces, were placed, and 
under the Queen of Spain's Chair. This appeared to be in 
the laboratory for shells, &c. The besiegers turned out in 
force, but, so continual were the discharges, were compelled 
to keep at a distance until some time had passed, when men 
rushed in and carried away powder to prevent further mis- 
chief. A mortar was fired upon them at this time from 
Willis's Battery* and without harming them. More assailants 
were discovered encamped behind Barcelo's Battery, north of 
Algeciras, on the 20th June. The bombardment not appear- 
ing profitable now decreased in fierceness. On the 27th 
more troops were seen to arrive between the Palamones and 
Algeciras, the bombardment was for a few hours then revived 
by the gunboats and twelve or fourteen men of the 39th 
Regiment were killed or wounded, the most serious loss we 
had yet sustained. To check these attacks a mortar and 
twelve cannon were placed on the Old Mole Head and in the 
sand behind it and secured in timber frames ; when fired the 
effect of these pieces was important in dispersing a battalion of 
Spanish guards and driving them from their posts. Another 
plan of the governor's was as serviceable as the last, it consisted 
in placing two razeed brigs as floating batteries between the New 
Mole and the Ragged Staff, east of South Port. More troops 
and more ships now appeared on the Spanish side. By July 
1 2th the bombardment nearly ceased. Willis's Battery, which 
had suffered greatly, was repaired and increased in strength in 

* This defence, so frequently mentloneci here, may be seen In our map at a little to 
the north of a line drawn between the Rock Gun and the Moorish Castle. The black 
square which is nearest to the centre of that line, on its northern side, shows the spot 
in question. 

II" mmimummmtttm 



the night of the i8th. On the 6th August an Engh'sh sloop 
of war was seen becalmed off Cabrita Point and rowing' to- 
wards the Rock ; assistance was sent and, after sustaining the 
concentrated fire of fourteen gunboats and returning it with 
great gallantry, she got in by the aid of the western breeze and 
turned out to be the " Helena," Captain Roberts, fourteen 
small guns, fourteen days from home, with dispatches; her 
sails and rigging were greatly injured, but the loss of men very 
slight; this entrance was one of the most gallant actions of 
the siege. 

Time sped thus with the relief of incidents which, terrible 
in themselves, had small effect on the end in view of the op- 
posed nations ; small craft came in, others were captured, 
some got out, others were taken in that act ; the enemy con- 
tinued to advance his formidable lines and strengthen his bat- 
teries, but it appeared to be true, as deserters informed the 
governor, that the Spanish troops in camp were chiefly militia, 
the greatest portion of the regulars having been sent to the 
attack of Fort Mahon, Minorca, under the Duke de Crillon, 
who had ten thousand men on that service and expected a 
powerful reinforcement of French from Toulon. Such troops 
as those which were reported to be in charge of the camp, are 
peculiarly liable to reverses of the kind which the next 
operation of the besieged inflicted upon the Spaniards in 

• An adequate idea of the fury of firing which at intervals broke the nearly torpid 
periods of the siege may be obtained on reflecting that when the enemy had con- 
structed a threatening battery, twelve hundred yards from the Grand Battery and 
bearing on the Waterport and the town, the English attacked it with such vigour that 
m one day and night fifteen hundred and ninety-six shot, five hundred and thirty 
shells (mostly heavy), ten carcases and two light balls were poured in effectually upon 
this single spot. The return fire comprised one thousand and twelve shot and three 
hundred and two shells. 


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V 1^ 



This operation was of the greatest importance and 
effected thus. The enemy had been chiefly occupied by 
engineering works during the many preceding months and con- 
structed those threatening lines which, if anything at that 
period could serve their purpose, were likely to be successful. 
These works extended nearly to the foot of the Rock and all 
across the Neutral Ground. A keen eye had, however, 
detected an error m their construction which, under the antici- 
pated circumstances, was far from being unpardonable; this 
in the end procured their temporary ruin and was of the 
gravest consequence to both parties at war. Captain Sayer 
notes the existence in the British Museum of an historical 
sketch of Gibraltar with MS. notes which are signed '' W. 
Booth," and describe the writer as the original suggestor of 
the attack in question ; he states " that he had discovered the 
approaches being without any works whatever to flank them ; 
the batteries in the rear must, of course, strike the reverse of 
their (the enemy's) own works." The author does not say 
who this annotator was. 

The last act on the part of the garrison, which the besiegers 
looked for, was that which Governor Elliot now determined to 
perform, although his troops did not exceed six thousand men 
and could not conveniently be recruited. Prompt, far-sceino- 
and secretive, the governor took his own soldiers almost as 
completely by surprise as shortly afterwards the enemy, when, 
after the gates of the Fortress were shut at gun-firing, Novem- 
ber 26th, 1 781, an '' evening garrison order" appeared, which 
Drinkwatcr gives in full, and commanded a considerable 
force to assemble on the Red Sands at midni^Tht with devils 
faggots and tools; the party thus ordered consisted of all the 
grenadiers and light infantry of the garrison, the 12th and 
Hardenberg regiments complete, one hundred artillery, engi- 

2 M 

' 'T!q er;^ '! i.™! ' jff ggSr j ' fii ' ti ' U" " w) '''^<»^MBP'g*ww«wpww^^pwiFwipww^iii^ww<^^ 



neers, one hundred and sixty workmen from the line and forty 
artificers, " each man to have thirty-six rounds of ammunition, 
with a good flint to his piece and another in his pocket. Briga- 
dier Ross had the command. A reserve, under General Picton, 
paraded at the same hour on the Grand Parade ; one hundred 
sailors were added to the former force and all went on silently 
and well. 

" The moon had nearly finished her nightly course,'* when 
about a quarter before three o'clock the detachment began its 
march, by files, from the right of the rear line, for the attack. 
The advanced works of the enemy held, all told, about seven 
hundred men. " Although nothing could exceed the silence 
and attention of the troops, the enemies' advanced sentries 
discovered the right column, which was under the orders of 
Lieut.-Col. Hugo and consisted of about six hundred and fifty 
men, before they passed Forbes's Barrier (at the eastern angle of 
the Inundation) and gave the alarm. The column rushed for- 
ward and began to dismantle the works. Part of Harden- 
berg's regiment, having lost its way, found itself fronting the 
St. Carlos Battery, which stood a little to the south-east of 
the Old Windmill, and gallantly stormed them ; the defenders 
ran away. Some companies of the 39th Regiment entered 
the battery, which is described as a stupendous work in the 
flank, and, not recognising the Hanoverians, fired at and 
killed several of them. This mischief was stopped by the 
use of the counter-sign " Steady:' The attacks of other 
parties were equally successful, the gun-batteries were 
carried and the enemy fled in all directions. While the 
destruction of this vast, long continued and enormously costly 
work went on, the attacking corps formed to protect the 
destroyers against the enemy who might attempt to stop the 
ruinous process. " 1 he exertions of the artillery and work- 

THE SORTIE. • 26? 

men were wonderful. The batteries were soon in a state 

for the fire-faggots to operate, and the flames spread with 

astonishing rapidity in every part. The column of fire and 

smoke which rolled from the works beautifully illuminated the 

troops and neighbouring objects, forming altogether a coup^ 

^Pceil not possible to be described. In an hour the object of 

the sortie was fully effected ; and trains being laid to the 

magazines. Brigadier Ross ordered the advanced corps to 
withdraw." u j^3, ^3 ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^.^^.^ ^^^ ^^^^,^^^ 

the principal magazine blew up with a tremendous explosion, 
throwing up vast pieces of timber, which, falling into the 
flames, added to the general conflagration." Not the slightest 
effort was made by the Spaniards to save their works, or annoy 
the destroyers of the fruits of so many months' labour, and 
such vast expense. " Their artillery directed a ridiculous fire 
upon the town and our upper batteries," says Drinkwater. 
Our loss was two officers and sixteen privates taken prisoners 
and very few killed. 

The result far surpassed the governor's expectations ; well 
might he extol the courage of his soldiers. Thus audacity, 
speed and comparatively large numbers enabled them to per- 
form one of the most remarkable feats in modern war ; their 
success was due, in its extent at least, in no small degree to 
the panic which seized the Spaniards, not only as it would 
appear the soldiers of the lines and batteries, but the army 
which was assembled behind these and seems 'to have 
looked on without power to save or retaliate in any effective 
fashion.* They allowed the conflagration to continue all the 

When our troops entered the batteries the written report of the commanding 
officer was found in one of the splinter-proofs which, when the guard was relieved 
was mtended to have been sent to the Spanish general. The report expressed that 



next day,^ hanged several soldiers, probably those whose 
neglect permitted the surprise, and pelted the town with 
shot. We had destroyed two batteries of ten thirteen-inch 
mortars, three batteries of six guns each, exploded the 
magazines and wrecked the lines, traverses and approaches and 
returned to the Rock within three hours of setting out. The 
English did this nearly a mile from their garrison in the face 
of fourteen thousand Spanish troops. False alarms were more 
than once observed to affect the besiegers and preparations 
were made to meet new sorties which were not intended. 

The stupor of these enemies uf ours was profound. It 
lasted six days, when more than four thousand men were 
set to work to repair damages. About this time nearly seven 
hundred men of the garrison were sick. The losses' of the 
garrison, between April 12 and December 31, were one 
hundred and twenty-one men, killed and died of wounds, 
forty-six disabled and four hundred wounded. 7'he enemy 
contiimed to repair and strengthen the offensive works, adding 
defensive features to them. Such is a summary of events until 
the 25th of February, 1782, when the St. Anne ordnance 
ship came m with gunboats in frames, ready to be put together 
at the Rock. An external event happened on the 5th of 
February, which had great effect on the siege of Gibraltar, 
being the surrender of ATinorca. This released great bodies of 
troops and permitted increased efforts against the Rock, for 
which General Elliot prepared ; news came to him that great 
preparations were making at Cadiz. 

*'■ Nothing extraordinary had happened r Drink water gives a very clear plan of this 
sortie, the offensive and defensive lines and batteries. 

* Smoke proceeded from St. Paschal's Battery until the iSth December. This 
battery stood a short distance on the south-west of the Old Windmill, nearly in a line 
with and west of the St. Carlos Battery. 





We need not enter into the details of the siege, from, this 
time, until a new effort was made against the Rock. Adopting 
a plan of Chevalier D'Arcon's (a famous French engineer), 
which proposed combined land and sea attacks on an unprece- 
dented scale, the Spaniards set to work to carry it out. They 
relied mainly upon a new form for battering-ships, obtained by 
cutting down large vessels, plating their sides with thick three- 
fold beams of timber and placing in an interval between the 
latter and the ships a thick layer of wet sand, within which was 
a dense coat of cork. These materials were, by means of 
pumps, kept constantly wet in order to prevent the effects of 
red-hot shot. The cork was devised to obviate mischief from 
splinters. This fabric was strengthened still more by wooden 
bolts. To protect the crews while working the guns, a 
sloping roof was placed above them, with a netting of rope, over ' 
which, after the Roman mode, was a strong covering of hides.* 
Through the roofs the masts of the vessels penetrated and bore 
the rigging above all. These novelties were fondly expected 
to be impregnable and incombustible ; to afford, accordingly, 
such complete security to their crews, that they were designed 
to be moored within half-gunshot of the English batteries 
attended by large boats full of troops, who were to be landed 
promptly when the confidently-anticipated issue of their powers 
was visible in the ruin of our batteries. Besides these, forty 
thousand men were to be ready in camp to take the Rock by 
storm, as soon as an opportunity offered. They were protected 
and assisted by line-of-battle ships. The Count d'Artois, 
brother of the French king, with other great personages, was 
to be present at the final reduction of Gibraltar (for which 
twenty-four hours was the proposed period), and assist, by 

Drinkwater (page 295) gives views of both sides of these vessels. 




means Of the lustre of their ancestry, in the expulsion of the 
tnghsh. A French convoy of sixty sail, with troops on board, 
arnved, June 17, 1782, which, on 21st, disembarked and en- 
camped immediately under the Queen of Spain's Chair The 
3uke de Crillon took the command of the besieging armies 
In one n.ght (August ,5th) the combined troops raised an 
epaulment, mainly of sand-bags, nearly five hundred yards in 
length, from their parallel to the eastern beach, ten or twelve 
feet in height and proportionately thick, and a communication 
was of sand casks, one thousand three hundred yards long 
from the epaulment to the barrier of their lines. Produced by 
ten thousand men labouring at once, it was a wonderful 
labour, executed within eight hundred yards of the garrison 
and so silently as to have been unsuspected until day revealed 
It to the astonished Encrlish. 

Meanwhile the governor, profiting by the absorption of his 
antagonists in their new scheme, continued to strengthen the 
Fortress. New batteries, bearing on Water Port, were 
opened in the Moorish Castle, at Upper Forbes's and else- 
where ; galleries in the Rock were dug, extended and armed ; 
a naval brigade was formed, practice with red-hot shot con- 
tmued with noteworthy success ; cluvaux de friu were erected 
at the toot of Landport glacis to the causeway and large 
numbers of shells and carcases prepared for use against the 
battering ships. On the 15th July news came of Rodney's 
victory over the Count de Grasse in the West Indies, the 
capturing of that admiral and his riag-ship. The best spirit 
prevailed m the garrison ; the men laboured with zeal ; the 
72nd Regiment, in particular, volunteered to assist, besides 
contributing its quota in forming the new covered-way from 
the Grand Parade to Orange Bastion. The services of one 
hundred men were accepted. Altogether, we kept about one 





thousand seven hundred men constantly labouring at this 
period (August, 1782), a trivial number compared v^^ith those 
of the enemy. 

It was understood In the garrison that events were approachlno- 
a crisis, when, on the ist of September, coal was distributed 
to the grates and furnaces for heating red-hot shot. On 
the 4th some of the battering ships came abreast of the Orange 
Grove and galleys with mantlets at their bows, to contain 
soldiers for the attack, anchored off the landing-place beyond 
Point Mala. On the 5th one hundred and fifty boats assem- 
bled in a line off Rocadillo Point, powder had been shipped to 
the floating batteries and their number was increased. The 
landworks were extended prodigiously by this time, but they 
were encumbered by enormous masses of unappropriated 
materials. The cannon and mortars in some places were 
removed or dismounted, to permit alterations. The judgment 
of Lieut. -General Boyd, Lieutenant-Governor of Gibraltar, 
detected the advantage thus offered to the besieged and he 
induced General Elliot to order the immediate use of red-hot 
shot against the works in question. On the 8th, at seven a.m., 
firing began from all the northern batteries, which bore upon 
the western part of the parallel, and continued during the day 
with prodigious effect. Much of the recently-constructed 
communication was destroyed and the St. Carlos and St. 
Martin batteries rendered useless ; also Mahon Battery and its 
neighbour were burnt. Nor was this success all that resulted 
from the well-timed cannonade. Enraged by this contretemps^ 
the Duke de Crillon retaliated in a furious fire from one hundred 
and seventy pieces of ordnance, mostly of large calibre, mounted, 
in many instances, on his unfinished batteries, which effectually 
exposed them to the knowledge of his antagonists. Although 
nine line-of-battle ships and fifteen gun and mortar boats aided 





in this business, no commensurate result was achieved. The 
ships repeated the attack on the morning of the loth (Septem- 
ber) j but a red-hot shot on board one of them cooled the ardour 
of the crews and induced them to return out of harm's way. 
By seven a.m. of this day, five thousand five hundred and twenty- 
seven shot and two thousand three hundred and two shells, 
besides those from the mortar-boats and ships, had been hurled 
against the Fortress in this fit of fury. Our losses were trivial, 
the attack waste ; yet it was continued from the sea on the 
nth September. On the 12th appeared from the westward 
the combined fleets of France and Spain, consisting of seven 
three-deckers, thirty-one two-deckers, three frigates, besides 
bomb-ketches, xebeques and hospital ships. Tn the afternoon 
they were at anchor between the Oranore Grove and Al^eciras. 
In all there were now assembled before the Rock forty-seven 
sail of the line, ten battering-ships — carrying two hundred and 
twelve guns, besides three hundred frigates, bomb-ketches, gun 
and mortar boats and smaller craft for debarkine men. On 
the land side was an army of forty thousand men and two 
hundred pieces of heavy ordnance, all commanded by an active 
and victorious general {Drinhvater). 

The garrison comprised about seven thousand effective men, 
long-tried officers, a master in the art of defence, and ninety- 
six GUNS. Such were the opposed forces. An om.n which 
would have strengthened the hearts of a Roman army beyond 
mortal courage was observed by the sentry at the flag-staff— 
an eagle hovered over, alit upon, and spread Its wings about 
the pole. The troops, seeing this at a distance, and mistaking 
the great bird for a flag displayed, which was the signal for an 
English admiral's (Lord Howe's) arrival, and, so they believed, 
in chase oixhQ enemy, cheered loudly in joy. l^he mistake 
was not unnatural, considering the distance of the staff from 


' <! 


the observers, and their expectations with regard to a great 
fleet which was believed to be on its way with reliefs. 

The hour of the attack, the last potent stroke at Gibraltar, 
was now come. At seven a.m. on the 13th of September, 1782, 
ten formidable battering-ships were seen to get under way, and 
at a little past nine o'clock, took their places in fine order, their 
admiral about nine hundred yards ofl^ the King's Bastion, the 
other vessels north and south in a line. Anticipating the result 
they desired, the soldiers of the camp and, it is said, a large 
number of civilians, assembled on the hills which form a sort of 
amphitheatre on the north of the Rock, where they, as well as 
the shadowing smoke allowed, witnessed the final act of this 
great siege. At a quarter before ten o'clock our fire began and, 
with that of the enemy, soon became tremendous. The land 
batteries of the allies joined in the infernal work ; four hundred 
pieces of cannon played at once. " Our heaviest shells often 
rebounded from the tops of the battering-ships and the 32- 
pound shot seemed to make no impression on their hulls." 
Whenever fire from our red-hot shot was kindled on board, it 
was promptly extinguished by the crews. Upon them our 
artillery was directed, without regard to the land batteries. 
They bore it for two hours, although two thousand shot were 
fired at them. '' About noon the mortar-boats and ketches 
attempted to second the attack from the ships, but the wind 
changed to the south-west, and blowing a smart breeze with 
a heavy swell, they were prevented from joining in the action." 
Nevertheless, it is recorded that our artillerymen began to doubt 
the issue.* The wonderful construction of the ships seemed 
to defy the heaviest ordnance. In the afternoon, however, 
the aspect o^ events changed considerably, the smoke which 

♦ The account of this attack is condensed from Drmk\wxtcr\ History. 

2 N 


2 74 



issued from the upper part of the flag-ship increased, despite 
the application of abundant water ; the admiral's second (on 
board of which was the Chevalier D'Arcon) was in the 
same state, her magazines were drowned in fear of an 
explosion, so that she was already hors de combat ; confusion 
was visible on board several other vessels and, by evening, 
the enemy's fire was reduced, except from one or two 
batteries which lay on the north and were, because of 
their remoteness, little injured. When the firing began to 
slacken, signals were made from the southernmost ships 
and, as the evening advanced, many rockets were thrown 
up to inform their friends of their extreme danger and 
distress, then several boats rowed towards them. Our 
artillery must, at this period, have produced dreadful havoc : 
an indistinct clamour, with lamentable cries and groans, arose 
from on board during the brief intervals of cessation. A 
little before midnight a wreck floated in, upon which 
were twelve men, who of sixty in a launch alone escaped. 
Our fire continued during the night but with less vivacity, 
because the governor, uncertain about the demands of 
a second day, sent the almost exhausted artillerymen 
to rest and replaced them from the Marine Brigade. 
About an hour after midnight the battering-ship which 
had suffered the greatest injury and was often on fire 
during the day, was helplessly endangered ; by two o'clock 
she appeared one continued blaze from stem to stern, 
her neighbour on the south was likewise on fire, but did not 
burn so rapidly. The light from these masses and minor 
conflagrations illuminated the sea ; the Rock and shores 
glowed dreadfully in the vast heaps of smoke which hung 
above and were seen so far as the eve could reach. It was 
a dismal illumination for those who stood about the Q^iecn 



of Spain's Chair and on the hills : they came to see victory 
and saw ruin. The outcome of three years' combined 
attack and mighty labours ; the expenditure of millions, the 
waste of thousands of lives, were testified by that glare, 
that livid smoke, those dreadful shrieks and doleful groans ! 
Between three and four o'clock in the morning of the 14th, 
six others of the battering-ships showed signs of their 
approaching fate and day witnessed the utter destruction 
of all, one blew up about five o'clock a.m. ; in the next 
quarter of an hour a second followed in that fate. The 
Marine Brigade of Gibraltar, under the command of Bricra- 
dier Curtis, put ofi^ to the rescue of the miserable crews and 
with great difficulty saved the lives of a large number 
among them. Six ships were soon in flames, three more 
blew up before eleven o'clock, the other three— their maga- 
zines having been swamped — burnt to the water's edge. 
With one of these the admiral's flag was burnt. Of the 
remaining two which the garrison hoped to have for trophies 
— to such a pass had the attack sunk— one was set on Are by 
the Spaniards and exploded, the other by the English 
in the afternoon. In the evening of the second day the 
enemy's whole armament of battering-ships was lost, with it 
the guns and stores, and two thousand men,* including 
prisoners. The expenditure of the enemy in shot, powder 
and shell is not known, but it may be guessed at by 
reflecting that three hundred and twenty pieces of artillery 
were employed with not less vigour than our own— which 
consisted of eighty guns, seven mortars and nine howitzers — 
and discharged eight thousand three hundred rounds, more 

♦ A Spanish return for the battering-ships alone admits a loss of one thousand four 
hundred and seventy-three men j five thousand one hundred and sixty men were on 
board these ships, or about thirty-six men per gun besides the crew. 

t ! 



than half of which comprised red-hot shot, and seven 
hundred and sixteen barrels of powder. Our lo^s in killed 
and wounded was surprisingly small, consisting of one officer 
(Captain Reeves of the Royal Artillery) killed and three others 
wounded, two Serjeants killed, thirteen men killed and sixty- 
three wounded. The damage done to our works was dispro- 
portionate to the violence of the attack and due largely 
to the land fire. Before night of the 15th the Fortress was 
readv to stand another assault. 

Such an attack was anticipated at the time and intended 
by the enemy, but the judgment of the Duke de Crillon 
overruled the passion of some among his oiBcers. It the 
opinion of the Chevalier D'Arcon is valuable in this particular 
and his information reliable, it appears that the b.itt cries 
were mismanaged from the first and that the one shot which 
ruined the '' Talla Piedra," the Spanish admiral's ship, com- 
manded by the Prince of Nassau, remained unmastered for 
six hours, whereas it might readily have been extinguished by 
removing the ship for a while from the heat of our caimonade. 
" She did not become uno;oveinable until after midnight." 
(Account by the Engineer, quoted by Sayer^ p. 393.) The 
duke was openly at variance with the engineers, he pro- 
posed a combined attack by the batteries and fleets, but his 
subordinates averred that the ships could not endure the fire 
of the Rock. It may be wondered why the powerful fleets 
floated inactive, while the batteries bore the brunt of the, 
the reply is, that the wind prevented them from getting near 
enough to the Rock. 

Such WMS trulv the end of this 2:reat attack, which for the 
gallantry displayed by the besieged may be compared with the 
most splendid feats of modern patriotism. 

During the remainder of September the Spaniards con- 




tinued to fire on the garrison and proceeded with engineering 
works on the land. Many ships loosened their topsails and 
It was expected that the combined fleets were about to dis- 
perse ; nevertheless they continued in the Bay and were 
determined, it appeared, to oppose the entrance of the English 
fleet under Howe. A dreadful hurricane, which began in the 
night of the loth of October, cast the Spanish and French 
ships into great disorder, compelled the firing of signal guns 
for aid ; at daybreak a Spanish two-decker w^as in a crippled 
state close to the shore of Orange Bastion, i.e. half-way 
between the Old Mole Head and the King's Bastion ; she 
endeavoured to wx'ather the Rock, but w^as fired at from the 
latter defence ; she ultimately grounded near the Ragged Staff 
and surrendered. She was the San Miguel, seventy-two guns, 
six hundred and thirty-four men who became prisoners of war ; 
the ship was got off, refitted, and armed for England. Other 
ships were seen on shore near the Grand Magazine, which 
stood about half way between Rocadillo and the Orange 
Cjrove ; a f>ench ship of the line lost her forem^ast and 
bowsprit ; nothing but the cessation of the storm saved 
several others. Soon after the English fleet came in, landed 
its stores and relieved the reo-iments ; after some fencino; on 
the part of Cordova, the Spanish admiral, it sailed out again. 
On the 20th an indecisive action took place at sea. On the i6th 
October the army began to break up, although the winter camp 
was still to consist of twenty thousand men ; no ships were left 
by the enemy in the Straits or to the eastward, few w^ere at 
Cabrita Point. After this the siege seemed to be maintained 
more as a form during negotiations, than with hopes of success. 
One of the most interesting facts of this period of the 
siege was the attempt of the enemy to Uozv up the Rock (!) 
by means of a mine in its northern part ; men had been 





repeatedly seen marching in that direction and some curiosity 
expressed as to the object of their approach, but no one 
seriously expected such an attempt. Something of this sort 
had been begun in the siege of 1727, and under Willis's 
Batteries, which mine was loaded but never fired. On the 
15 th of December the place of these new labours was dis- 
covered — it was a little to the west of south of the Devil's 
Tower j the party coming to work at it was permitted to 
approach within two hundred or three hundred yards before 
grape and hand-shells were discharged at them. They con- 
tinued to work with surprising obstinacy and, later, the explod- 
ing of their charges in the mine could be distinctly heard. An 
attack on the St. Michael, which lay at anchor off Buena 
Vista, and partial execution of their wild plan with the mine 
below Willis's, were the last efforts of the besiegers, except 
smart sea attacks on Christmas Day, 1782, another on the 4th 
January, 1783, and a few less important cannonades. 

On the 2nd of February news came that the preliminaries of 
peace were signed between Great Britain, France and Spain. 
The sea blockade was notified by the Spanish commander to be 
discontinued on the 5^1. '^ About noon an elevated gun was 
wantonly (triumphantly) fired over their (the besiegers') works, 
which was the last shot of this great siege." It was March loth 
before the Thetis, frigate, came in, with Sir Roger Curtis, the 
betore-mentioned brigadier, on board and dispatches confirminci- 
the news which every other source had conveyed. On the 
I2th, General Elliot and the Duke de Crillon met on the 
Neutral Ground. The war was over. Gibraltar remained 
with us i but not (1782) until another attempt had been made 
by our English minibtry to have it surrendered. Lord Shelburne 
and Mr. Banks were rash enough to propose the cession ; but 
such v/as the temper of the House of Commons and the 





nation that, having due regard to their places, these officials 
promptly backed out of their opinions. Burke, Lord North 
and the Duke of Grafton attacked the worthies who had been 
unusually foolish in making such a proposition at such a time. 
It was impossible to avoid making General Elliot a peer, with 
a grant of fifteen hundred pounds per annum ; but the reward 
was not bestowed until four years after he had been created a 
Knight of the Bath (!). The peerage was absolutely pumped 
out of the " fountain of honour " by sheer shame and the force 
of public opinion. As the defender of Gibraltar was no 
courtier, it is a pity that he consented to confer honour upon 
those whom the court delighted to honour. 

Since this period the Rock has remained at peace, except in 
1806, July 6th. Sir James Saumarez (Lord de Saumarez, 
Nelson's second in command at the Nile) began a tremendous 
conflict with a much superior French force, in the Bay of Alge- 
ciras, when he lost the Hannibal, seventy-four, which grounded 
on a reef. The admiral was compelled to enter Gibraltar to refit, 
with a loss of three hundred and sixty men, killed and wounded. 
With only half the number of his antagonists, who had been 
strengthened with nine vessels, he sallied out on the stormy 
night of the 12th July, and attacked the latter off Cabrita Point. 
The Real Carlos and Hermenegildo were assailed by Captain 
Keates, in the Superb, seventy-four. The former took fire, 
when the Superb directed her guns upon the San Antonio and 
captured her. Xw the darkness the Hermenegildo and Real 
Carlos fought with each other, until the latter blew up and so 
destroyed the Hermenegildo. Less than fifty men of the united 
crews, two thousand four hundred in all, survived the explosions. 
Thus were lost to the Spaniards two line-of-battle ships. The 
other ships of the ^ncmy got away. 

An event of great note at Gibraltar was the arrival of 



the Victory, with the body of Nelson on board, October 
28th, 1805, a week after the Battle of Trafalgar. Since then 
the chief matters in its military history ha\c been the exten- 
sion of its armament to seven hundred o;uns, i.e. seven times 
as many more than served at the Great Siege, and the con- 
struction of the vast series of galleries which penetrate the solid 
rock in tiers above tiers. The heaviest (runs of the (jreat 
Siege are now the lightest of the service ; in fact, almost 
superseded by far more powerful weapons. 



N , 






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